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IT has been my lot to sojourn for twenty years among men whose 
customs and modes of thought are not only distinctive but unique, 
and who, in spite of much that has been written about them are little 
known and indeed much misunderstood. Their lives are not only 
hidden and esoteric but for the ordinary mortal admission among 
them is impossible. It is true that they may be seen in the streets, in 
the halls of their colleges, and in the pulpits of churches, but their 
private, their real lives are as far removed from the range of men's 
vision as if they were passed in some remote forest of tropical Africa. 
In spite, however, of their elusiveness from the ken of their fellow- 
men Jesuits have played a large and significant role in history, polit- 
ical as well as religious, during the centuries that have gone by since 
the Renaissance. 

In brief, the purpose of my story is to supply thoughtful readers 
with the means of forming a true estimate of Jesuitism. My story 
should serve alike as a counterblast to the extreme praise and the 
extreme blame that is customarily apportioned to tj>e Society of 
Jesus. Some of my readers will regard it as a subtle attempt to 
undermine the accepted, traditional view of Jesuit villainy. They 
may even harbor the suspicion that the author has been subsidised by 
the Jesuits. Would that that were so! 

On the other hand, some will interpret my story as "another at- 
tack on the Jesuits," and may even read into it a concealed attack on 
the Catholic Church. Such a view will no doubt be taken by sensi- 
tive friends of the Society of Jesus. . 

To interpret criticism, even severe and caustic criticism, as an 
"attack" is, however, wholly unfair. No less unfair is it to inter- 
pret criticism of the Society of Jesus" as an assault on the Catholic 
Church. The critic analyses, and indicates characteristics, good and 
bad. The attacker initiates an offensive which has destruction as its 
aim. Jesuits themselves have never admitted any distinction between 
their critics and their attackers, but it may be that their extreme sen- 


vi Preface 

sitiveness to reproach and blame has clouded their minds in this 
respect. Invariably they identify their critics with the enemies of 
religion in spite of the fact that many very eminent prelates of the 
Church have belonged to the former class. 

The Society of Jesus, though often called the "Grenadier Guards 
of the Pope," is no more an essential part of the Catholic Church 
than is the Horse Guards an essential part of the British Empire. No 
doubt it has enjoyed the favor of many Popes, just as the Horse 
Guards has enjoyed the favor of many English kings, but who 
could with justice pretend that criticism, even caustic criticism, of the 
Horse Guards implies treason to the British Empire? And who can 
fairly identify criticism of the Jesuits with disloyalty to Catholicism? 

Many readers will miss in my story the usual note of adulation 
and praise that characterizes other Catholic writers on the subject of 
the Jesuits. From time to time it is true, I quote very laudatory 
passages about the Society, but they are, almost all of them, taken 
directly from the writings of Jesuits themselves, and the use I make 
of them is for the most part to illustrate a certain arrogance in 
Jesuitism. No doubt, it would have been possible for me to dwell 
on many acts of virtue and kindness that, as a Jesuit, I witnessed 
in Jesuits, but my purpose was to analyse the thing called Jesuitism 
and to illustrate its workings. And the good and beautiful things 
that I came across in the Order were to my mind attributable not to 
Jesuitism, but to something else in the Jesuit than Jesuitism. 

Readers of sectarian bias may quote my story as an argument 
against the Church. "If the Jesuits are such," they may say, "then 
a -fortiori the Church is such." An argument of this kind will, 
however, bear little weight with thoughtful men. It in no way fol- 
lows because, at a moment of stress and strain, the Church tolerated 
the experiment of Jesuitism (restricting at first the number of 
Jesuits to sixty), that she identified herself with Jesuitism. Nor 
does it follow that according as Jesuitism departed more and 'more 
from Catholic and Christian tradition, the Church step by Step 
evolved into something un-Catholic and unchristian. No doubt it 
is surprising that Jesuitism should have been cherished in the bosom 
of the Church for so long a time. It is true that four Popes, Paul 

Preface vii 

IV, Innocent X, Innocent XI, and Clement XIV, tried to rid the 
Church of it, but only two of them took drastic measures to carry 
out their purpose into actuality. They failed, of course, because 
Jesuitism had become more deeply rooted than they realised. 

Readers of this story who have no religious bias to divert their 
attention from the thoughts it conveys, will find unfolded in these 
pages some curious problems that perhaps have not hitherto intrigued 
their minds. They will find the description of a very determined 
effort, based on the assumption that human nature is malleable, to 
discover a spiritual instrument for forcing men into a mould of per- 
fect, practical, but unimaginative, sanctity. They will see, illus- 
trated in material that is probably new to them, the disconcerting 
results that follow from the enforcement of ideally "wise and good" 
laws, and how suffering and evil seem to follow inevitably when the 
rules of spiritual perfection, suitable for one epoch, are applied in 
another. The incompetence of men to legislate for the spiritual 
good of others, especially for others of generations yet to come, is 
amply illustrated, as is the falsity of the assumption that mail is to 
any considerable extent malleable. 

Twenty years of adult manhood is the price I paid for the ex- 
periences on which this story is built. No small price! And yet 
were others to offer as much again, forty years of lifetime, they 
could not purchase these experiences. For they would be unattain- 
able to any who had not a sincere and pious vocation to live and die 
in the Order. No one could understand Jesuit obedience unless with 
firm faith he accepted all the Jesuit doctrine of obedience, and heard 
distinctly, in the voice of his Superior, as I used to hear, the divine 
voice of Christ. No one could plumb the depths of Jesuit self- 
annihilation unless with a holy and heartfelt yearning, he prayed 
for and sought as I did, humiliations, sufferings and contempt. 
Neither could one write a story such as mine, did one, while in the 
Order, live note-book in hand, jotting down observations for subse- 
quent use. Such an attitude of mind would preclude the possibility 
of whole-hearted, self-identification with the life of a Jesuit. 
Needless to say, while in the Order, I never dreamed that one day I 

viii Preface 

should, having returned among plain people, write the experience of 
my sojourn among the children of Ignatius. 

At times, while writing my story, there arose in my mind a dis- 
turbing thought: the thought of good friends who had been dear to 
me in the Order, and whose memory I still cherish. With a pang 
I realised that they would be hurt when they read these pages. 
They would no longer think of me as loyal. They would say, 
"Surely this is disloyalty, to live among us as one of us, and then go 
forth and tell the world about us!" In their hearts they would, I 
knew, recognise the truth of my criticisms, and the justice of most 
of my conclusions, but they would think : "Better to leave such things 
unsaid; what good can come from making such things known? " 

No good can come to those whose lot in the Society has been and 
must continue to be suffering and misunderstanding. But good can 
come to those who exercise influence in making young men join the 
ranks of the Society. The sad and tragic holocaust of fine young 
men, the continual sacrifice, that from generation to generation is 
offered on the altar of Jesuitism, can be at least diminished as a re- 
sult of my story. Mothers who read this book will hesitate before 
urging their pious sons to seek for happiness and holiness where it 
is seldom to be found. Catholics will be spared that injustice to 
their Faith which consists in pointing to Jesuits and Jesuitism as its 
highest embodiment. 

Friends, Jesuit friends I once had, may still consider me disloyal, 
but their view, if they maintain it, will not embrace the recognition 
of the fact that loyalty to Truth stands before loyalty to persons and 
to fond associations. 

My story begins with a brief historical sketch of the origin and 
development of the Society of Jesus, for the convenience of those 
who know little about the Jesuits. This sketch is followed by some 
illustrations of how Jesuit writers, whose writings are before the 
American public, interpret themselves and the events of their history. 
As regards "sources," I rely mainly on my own experiences and on 
the Rules, Constitutions, and Official Documents of the Order. The 
works of two ex- Jesuits, Baron von Hoensbroech, a high-minded 
German scholar, and George Tyrrell, a brilliant, sensitive English 
critic, were of use to me, for I could understand the men behind 

Preface ix 

their pages. To the former I am indebted for translations from the 
German, and for some historical notes; to the latter for some philo- 
sophical conceptions concerning Jesuitism. 

In the cqurse of my story I relate many minor incidents, some of 
which are not wholly 'edifying,' but I hope I have succeeded in 
keeping clear of "revelations." To satisfy the morbid thirst some 
feel for scandals was in no sense the purpose of my story. Any facts 
that I relate which are discreditable to the Society of Jesus are re- 
lated with the sole purpose of giving a truer and deeper insight into 
the Mind of the Order, and of illustrating the manner in which the 
Jesuit Constitutions work out in practice. 

I know no better way of terminating this Preface than by appeal- 
ing, in the very words which Ignatius himself, the Founder of the 
Jesuits, appealed for a fair and sympathetic hearing in his book, 
"The Spiritual Exercises." "It must be presupposed," he wrote, 
"that every pious Christian ought with a more ready mind to put a 
good sense upon the opinion of another than to condemn it; but if 
he can in no way defend it, let him inquire its meaning of the 
writer; and if the latter's logic be faulty, let him correct it in a 
kindly way; if this suffice not, let him try all suitable means by which 
he may help him to think correctly/' / 



PREFACE f ..... v 


















Cardinal Richelieu 18 

Ignatius Loyola 30 

Catherine of Russia 52 

"Dismissal" Form of the Society of Jesus 112 

Erasmus 168 

Pius IX 242 

Innocent X /. 256 

Clement XIV 264 



THE story of the Jesuits opens with so many adventures that 
are remote from the ordinary, and develops so swiftly and surely 
into a moving and thrilling enterprise of high and chivalrous pur- 
pose, that it deserves the title of Romance. It is a strange story, 
removed in a numher of ways from the commonplace. It tells 
of a distinguished body of men bound together by oath in the pur- 
suit of no less an adventure than the conquest of the world. They 
are soldiers, spiritual soldiers, with clean hands and earnest faces, 
and they march swiftly and bravely. The spectacle of their early 
achievements is unique and thrilling. High and lofty motives 
give them superhuman courage, and for a few decades their prog- 
ress is marked by striking victories. 

The initial grandeur of the Jesuit Romance was, however, too 
splendid to be long sustained. The soldiers of Ignatius, after a time, 
suffered their generous ideals to wane, and they fought less strenu- 
ously as arrogance found a place in their hearts. Their hands 
grew soiled from pillaging, and their faces lost the look of earnest- 
ness through overmuch repose. With unnecessary frequency there 
emerge in the later pages of the Romance, .incidents of a- petty and 
sordid nature, and the reader is left with an aching sense of pity. 
The gallant Company of hero-saints who set out to capture the 
world for Christ had all died off, and those who fell in to take 
their places were men of coarser fibre and weaker vision. When 
the regiment had lasted a century or so, the soldiers that com- 
prised it were still bound together by oath, but the regimental 
slogan, "all for the honour and glory of God" (A. M. D. G.), 
had lost much of its meaning for them. 

The early Jesuit Generals, Ignatius, Lainez, Borgia, and Acqua- 
viva, had scattered their men in every direction, north, south, east 
and west, and had inspired them to make stupendous efforts. 
For this reason we find incidents and situations of a most sensa- 


1 8 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

tional kind, in the first chapters of the Jesuit Romance. We 
find the Jesuit in places that no Western foot had ever trod, and 
we find him received with honour, in places where no other West- 
erner would dare to go. It was not long before he made his way 
to Thibet and held friendly intercourse with the Grand Lama. 
For years he lived on intimate terms with the Great Mogul, at 
Delhi. He did not delay about penetrating the forests of the 
Congo, and searching for the sources of the Nile. He marched 
on foot from Persia to Paris, and drew maps of unknown lands in 
the Far East. 

While some Jesuits were thus scouring the globe at the word of 
their General, others were penetrating society and mixing with men 
of the most varied virtues and vices. Indeed it is not too much to 

| ^-uf- 

[say that there is no outstanding character in history since the latter 
half of the sixteenth century, whether his fame was due to great 
learning or great achievements or great villainy, with whom the 
Jesuit did not come in contact. We find him playing chess with the 
priest-hunting Conqueror, Oliver Cromwell; directing the con- 
science of Henri IV of France and likewise of his murderer 
Ravaillac; teaching Latin to Titus Gates, whose "Popish Plot" 
ruined alike the hopes of the Catholic Stuarts and the Catholic 
Church in England. He took to task such mighty statesmen as Philip 
II of Spain, Louis XIV, Richelieu, and Mazarin. He won the love 
as well as the hatred of Voltaire, and could command Sobieski and 
Maximilian of Bavaria as though they were his servants. He held 
the hand. of Queen Christina, the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, 
as she stepped from the throne of Sweden, to be free to tell her 
beads. He stood as counsellor at the side of Japanese and Chinese 
Emperors, and ruled as Prime Minister in Trichinopoli. 

He intrigued to place Mary Queen of Scots on the throne of Eng- 
land, and twenty years later associated with Guy Fawkes who 
sought to murder her son. He put Jansenius on the 'index; be- 
friended Galileo; set up inquisitions; denounced Garibaldi. He 
corresponded with Napoleon; conversed with Washington; enjoyed 
the friendship and hospitality of Frederick the Great and Catherine 
the Great. He glided from court to court, a mild-eyed diplomat; 
to arrange royal espousals; to negotiate loans for papal wars; to 
foment rebellions; to secure treaty-privileges. In one city, as asso- 


1 8 The Jesuit Enigma 

tional kind, in the first chapters of the Jesuit Romance. We 
find the Jesuit in places that no Western foot had ever trod, and 
we find him received with honour, in places where no other West- 
erner would dare to go. It was not long before he made his way 
to Thibet and held friendly intercourse with the Grand Lama. 
For years he lived on intimate terms with the Great Mogul, at 
Delhi. He did not delay about penetrating the forests of the 
Congo, and searching for the sources of the Nile. He marched 
on foot from Persia to Paris, and drew maps of unknown lands in 
the Far East. 

While some Jesuits were thus scouring the globe at the word of 
their General, others were penetrating society and mixing with men 
,pjF the most varied virtues and vices. Indeed it is not too much to 
'.say that there is no outstanding character in history since the latter 
half of the sixteenth century, whether his fame was due to great 
learning or great achievements or great villainy, with whom the 
Jesuit did not come in contact. We find him playing chess with the 
priest-hunting Conqueror, Oliver Cromwell; directing the con- 
science of Henri IV of France and likewise of his murderer 
Ravaillac; teaching Latin to Titus Gates, whose "Popish Plot" 
ruined alike the hopes of the Catholic Stuarts and the Catholic 
Church in England. He took to task such mighty statesmen as Philip 
II of Spain, Louis XIV, Richelieu, and Mazarin. He won the love 
as well as the hatred of Voltaire, and could command Sobieski and 
Maximilian of Bavaria as though they were his servants. He held 
the hand of Queen Christina, the daughter of Gustavus Adolphus, 
as she stepped from the throne of Sweden, to be free to tell her 
beads. He stood as counsellor at the side of Japanese and Chinese 
Emperors, and ruled as Prime Minister in Trichinopoli. 

He intrigued to place Mary Queen of Scots on the throne of Eng- 
land, and twenty years later associated with Guy Fawkes who 
sought to murder her son. He put Jansenius on the 'index; be- 
friended Galileo; set up inquisitions; denounced Garibaldi. He 
corresponded with Napoleon; conversed with Washington; enjoyed 
the friendship and hospitality of Frederick the Great and Catherine 
the Great. He glided from court to court, a mild-eyed diplomat; 
to arrange royal espousals; to negotiate loans for papal wars; to 
foment rebellions; to secure treaty-privileges. In one city, as asso- 


The "Romance of the Jesuits 19 

ciate of princes, he rode forth on a gaily caparisoned charger with 
the grace and elegance of Beau Brummell; in another he searched 
for plague-stricken victims to carry them to a comfortable refuge. 

Like Bruno he preached with fiery eloquence in mountain villages, 
and like Savonarola he denounced the sins of the elite of great 
cities. Elsewhere he disputed with acrimonious logic against 
Dominican theologians in the presence of Pope and Cardinals. As 
schoolmaster he robbed the humanists of the modern flavour of their 
erudition, and made classical culture an instrument of reaction. In 
the church he posed as a stiff-necked grandee, an unbloody inquisitor, 
chaperon and duenna to a long succession of Popes. Before the 
world he displayed religious wares which he disposed of with con- 
summate salesmanship, using all the advertising arts of a Jewish 
ghetto. To those who confronted him with the question, "By what 
authority?" he had one unfailing answer. He drew forth from 
the satchel that he carried with him a mass of venerable parchments, 
dog-eared and musty, which when deciphered showed, above the 
signatures of various Popes, that the bearer was the faithful servant 
of the Church, and that in every place he was known to breathe 
forth "the good odour of Christ." / 

In the Romance of the Jesuits there is abundant material for 
students of economics, ethics, and psychology. There are things 
calculated to stir the socialist to fury, to amuse the cynic, to delight 
the salacious, and to puzzle the philosopher. Running through it all 
one finds the ever-present enigma; the contradiction inseparable 
from Jesuitism; the interchanging of opposites; wealth that is 
evangelical poverty; equivocation that is truth; laxity that is purity 
of doctrine; wrongs rendered good by the end in view; gross 
disobedience that is holy docility; rotting idleness that is labour in the 
vineyard; astute and cunning diplomacy that is dovelike simplicity; 
heroism that is the offspring of fear; chilling indifference that is the 
charity of Christ. 

From so much contradiction in the Jesuits there resulted most 
contradictory reactions. In every country, in every generation, there 
appeared an attitude towards the Jesuits of love mixed with hate; 
of trust mixed with utter distrust; of praise mixed with contumely; 
of kindness mixed with persecution; of boundless generosity mixed 
with ruthless spoliation. The Jesuits set themselves up as paragons 

ao The Jesuit Enigma 

of contradictory qualities; as living syntheses of discordant tend- 
encies; as Christs who were Machiavellis; as beggars who were 
Croesuses; as modernists who were reactionaries; and they became, 
as the Scripture phrase has it, "signs to be contradicted." 

One cannot be surprised to find in the story of the Jesuits a 
salient note of failure. They set out to show that human nature 
was malleable, and that saints could be produced by the systematic 
asceticism of the Spiritual Exercises. Instead of establishing their 
thesis they proved once for all the truth of its contradiction, and in 
their own persons they produced, not saints, but as Clement XIV 
declared, mischief-makers. They set out to bulwark the Pope of 
Rome, and to supply an invincible regiment of defence around the 
Chair of Peter. Their enterprise brought more trouble on Rome 
than security; they proved a source of weakness rather than of 
strength and the gallant regiment was disbanded. They set out to 
crush Protestantism and they gave it a new lease of life. They set 
out to reform education, and they proved a barrier to science and 
progress. They set out to teach Catholic youth their religion, in 
France, Portugal, Germany, Mexico and many other countries. 
And in so doing they aroused so much hostility and intolerance, that 
in these countries to-day Catholic children have not even a fair-play 
opportunity of learning their catechism. Failure in every direction, 
failure after initial stupendous triumphs, has dogged the path of this 
ill-fated Order. And one is forced by a consideration of its history 
to wonder what aberration of mind swayed a Pope to say, as he 
glanced over the Jesuit Constitutions "digitus Dei est hie" ("the 
finger of God is here"). 

The spirit in which most writers tell the oft-told story is puzzling. 
Sides are taken; extreme views for or against are expressed; and the 
enigma of Jesuitism is forgotten, and remains unsolved. Pro- 
Jesuit writers suppress facts unfavourable to the Order, and distort 
what they cannot suppress. They write on the whole in the spirit 
of John the Evangelist to prove the divinity of the subject of their 
story. Anti- Jesuit writers dwell morbidly on the seamy side of 
Jesuit history, and kill the interest of this fascinating romance. 
Thomas Carlyle, for example, sees hell let loose in Jesuitism. 
"Where you meet a man believing in the salutary nature of false- 
hoods, or the divine authority of things doubtful, and fancying that 

The Romance of the Jesuits 21 

to serve the good cause he must call the devil to his aid, there is a 
follower of Un-saint Ignatius. Not till the last of these men has 
vanished from the earth will our account with Ignatius be quite 
settled, and his black militia have got their 'mittimus* to chaos 
again." It matters after all, very little, whether this or that par- 
ticular scandal be true or false, whether Fr. Schall, the great mis- 
sioner, had Chinese wives or not; whether Fr. la Valette purchased 
slaves in the market-place to work his Martinique plantations or not; 
whether or not the Jesuits were immediately responsible for the 
massacre of Thorn. What is of importance is to discover, by a 
careful analysis of Jesuitism, how far it is consonant with the spirit 
of Christ, and how far that peculiar attitude of superiority and 
self-righteousness that characterises the Order is pathological. 

The story of the Jesuits, unlike that of other religious Orders, 
belongs only in part to the Church. The Jesuits deliberately broke 
away in so many respects from Church traditions, and immersed 
themselves to such an extent in worldly affairs, that their story be- 
longs to general history. They forged a new instrument which 
changed the destinies of races. It was a subtle commingling of 
diplomacy and religion, knowledge and inspiration, gold and grace. 
They boasted of wearing hair-shirts under their gay apparel, and of 
conveying religious instruction through the elegancies of Horace 
and Tibullus. They poured large treasures of gold into the hands 
of Tilly and Wallenstein that they might smite the bodies of heretics, 
while they shed tears in fervent prayer for the souls that were to be 
driven forth by the swords of the Catholics. Viewed from another 
angle, the instrument that the Jesuits created was a sword of wit. 
They strove to overcome the enemies of the Church by hexameters 
and syllogisms. Strategy, scholarship, nicely powdered perruques, 
elegant diction, and a royal Duke for a General, were to aid the 
Jesuits to stampede the vulgar Lutheran hordes. Franciscans and 
Dominicans might do well to await "the breathing of the Holy 
Spirit" to help them in their Apostolic enterprises, but the Jesuits' 
eye was steadily fixed on the political barometer and the social 


As a young man, the Spanish noble, Ignatius Loyola, had been 
"affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, and consumed 

22 The Jesuit Enigma 

with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to have been 
sometimes involved in those darker intrigues for which handsome 
young courtiers too often think themselves licensed." a A fair lady, 
"higher in rank than a countess or a duchess," was his passion, but 
chivalrously Ignatius locked away her name in his heart. Perhaps he 
never had the courage to woo her; perhaps he wooed her in vain 
and his early escapades may have been efforts to release the pent-up 
emotions that belonged to her. Had she accepted his advances, no 
doubt the Jesuit Order would never have been founded, nor would 
Ignatius, as Carlyle cruelly puts it, have tried so "many plans to 
make his ego available on Earth." 

Ignatius was wounded when fighting against the French at 
Pampeluna in 1521. He was carried to his ancestral castle in a 
valley of the Pyrenees. Crude surgery inflicted upon him agonising 
suffering, and left him crippled with a limp. During his con- 
valescence he asked for romances of chivalry, but none were to be 
found in the musty cupboards of his home. He was forced to read 
the only books available, Ludolph of Saxony's Life of Christy and 
the Flowers of the Saints. He was deeply moved; his conversion 
began; and he set himself "to write a book with great diligence 
putting the words of Christ in red ink, and those of Our Lady in 

Visions came to him. His imagination glowed with desire to 
outdo the achievements of the saints about whom he had been read- 
ing. Cripple though he was he could still fight great battles, and 
win the love, of a lady, fairer far than his erstwhile dream. He 
could lead an army, if needs be, to fight for the King of Kings, and 
win lasting and substantial glory. The Romance of the Jesuits 
had begun. ,, %' 

Ignatius' sword still hangs in the shrine of Our^|^^, m the 
Monastery of Montserrat. It was there that Ignatius a^|; a night 
of vigil broke with his past and clothed himself in pilgrim's garb. 
From thence he set out on foot to Manresa, where in a cave he gave 
himself up to penance and prayer. He experienced' all the joys and 
all the terrors of unrestrained mysticism. Utter, dejection, elans of 
love, visions of peace and visions of horror, visits from angels and 
visits from devils, scruples, suicidal tendencies and insight into 

1 Catholic Encyclopedia. 

The Romance of the Jesuits 23 

mysteries. Distraught, almost crazy, he fought his lonely fight, 
afraid of hell, in terror of damnation and appalled at the prospect 
of a long life of penance. And yet he could see no way out of 
his dilemma save by perseverance. "Had he been a good man," 
says the unsympathetic Carlyle, "he should have consented at this 
point to be damned. ... To cower, silent and ashamed into some 
dim corner and resolve to make henceforth as little noise as possible. 
That would have been modest, salutary . . . for this degraded, 
ferocious Human Pig, one of the most perfect scoundrels." 

From Manresa, Ignatius set out for the Holy Land. He carried 
with him the nucleus of his famous little book, The Spiritual 
ExerciseSy and besides that a pilgrim's staff. He was not allowed to 
remain in the Holy Land, so he returned to Spain and began to study 
Latin at a boys' school. We find him at Barcelona, Alcala and 
Salamanca (1527), nowhere regarded as "a most perfect scoundrel," 
but everywhere received as a Saint. He preached, studied, reformed 
convents, gathered followers around him, and worked for the poor in 

His progress in learning, however, was too slow, so^'n 1528 he 
started for Paris University, hoping there to succeed better at his 
studies. He remained seven years at Paris, becoming a Master of 
Arts and a Licentiate of Theology in 1535. 

Meanwhile a great change had come over Ignatius. He was no 
longer impulsive, temperamental and violent. The riotousness of 
his early religious emotions had given place to calm intensity. He 
had become practiced in repression, and could now completely domi- 
nate every instinct and affection. He had cultivated a very attractive 
gentleness of disposition, and could adapt himself with facility to 
men of different character. He planned out everything ahead, and 
had no little prudence and foresight. He was well equipped with 
"holy wiles" and succeeded in gathering together a small group of 
clever and spirited men, the nucleus of the future Society. Francis 
Xavier he won by flattery and service; Faber by piety; Salmeron, 
Lainez, Bobadilla and Simon Rodriguez were the others. He 
organised his band prudently, slowly and very secretly, and finally 
swore them in on August 15, 1534, at a shrine at Montmartre in 

In many respects the gathering was unique and significant. It 

24 The Jesuit Enigma 

was the first time the associates had met in common. The purpose 
of the association was vague, yet they bound themselves by vow. 
They were to go to the Holy Land and convert the infidels, but 
they were far from sure whether or not they could ever get there. 
Still less did they know how they were to set about converting the 
"unspeakable Turk." The meeting, although obviously the initia- 
tion of a religious movement, was kept secret from ecclesiastical 
authorities. Ignatius was resolved not to be interfered with. There 
was to be no head or leader, no superior, yet every one present knew 
Ignatius as the moving spirit and authoritative voice. There was 
adventure, excitement and Holy Joy in the hearts of all, and the 
vows were fervently made. The rising sun threw rays through the 
mullioned windows of the little shrine, lending radiance to the 
earnest faces of the kneeling students. When Fr. Faber, the only 
priest among them, raised the Host above their heads, to solemnise 
their vows, Ignatius' heart throbbed with pride and hope. His 
great campaign had begun; the path to everlasting glory was' opened 
to him. 

Three years later the associates gathered in Venice (January, 
1537), rea( tyj if possible, to start on their journey for the Holy 
Land. They had increased in numbers. Le Jay, Codure, Broet 
and a few others had joined the band. Codure and Broet were 
French; Faber and Le Jay were Swiss; the rest were Spaniards and 
Portuguese. All looked upon Ignatius as the Leader, but they had 
made no promise of obedience to him. 

A year passed and they failed to make their way to the Holy 
Land. The port of Venice was closed because of war with the 
Turk, and no effort was made to follow another route. Meanwhile 
Ignatius had begun to see the foolishness of his first plan. He now 
resolved to proceed to Rome and place himself and his followers 
at the disposal of the Pope. It is hard to doubt that he had by this 
time determined to found a religious order, but if so he said nothing 
about it to the rest. Van Dyke, 2 who made a careful and sympa- 
thetic study of Ignatius, absolves him from all suspicion of conceal- 
ing his plans from his followers. Quoting contemporary evidence 
to support his view he writes: "We may be glad that there is such 
strong contemporary evidence against a deliberate effort on the 

2 Ignatius Loyola, p. 133. 

The "Romance of the Jesuits 25 

part of Ignatius to use reserve and not frankly express his ideas or 
unroll before the eyes of his comrades the plan he had conceived." 
But Van Dyke admits that "he did not seem to have been much dis- 
appointed over the blocking of that long-cherished plan, adopted by 
his comrades in the oath of Montmartre." 

The sudden change of plans made it important for Ignatius to 
secure a sign of divine good-will and protection. His followers 
were no doubt in need of some proof of his contact with Heaven. 
Thereupon came visions to Ignatius and inspirations. He. received 
divine intimation that he was to call his band of followers "The 
Company of Jesus." Christ, too, appeared to him and promised 
him that He would be propitious at Rome. 

In Ignatius subconscious there was firmly rooted the dream-wish 
of leading, as soldier chief, a gallant regiment into battle. And 
the name "Company," from its Spanish synonym, contains this 
implication. It was besides a bold, ambitious name, calculated to 
excite wonder and jealousy. It was skilfully chosen for it carried 
the suggestion, so important in those days, of absolute orthodoxy. 
What Catholic would venture to doubt the virtue or orthodoxy of 
Companipns of Jesus? And even to this day, so powerful and 
enduring is the suggestion latent in the name, that any who venture 
to oppose the teachings of the Jesuits, or to criticise them, are ipso 
facto proven guilty of heresy in the minds of Catholics. 

Ignatius' vision of Christ, who promised protection and favour, 
is exceedingly interesting from a psychological point of view. It 
showed that Ignatius had suggested himself into the firm conviction, 
never thenceforth to be shaken, that "his side" was "Christ's side," 
and that the interests of the Order he was to found, were identical 
with those of Christ. His extraordinary persuasion of "righteous- 
ness" became a legacy of the Order, and made many associate the 
Jesuits with "Illuminati." This conviction in Ignatius' mind is 
well illustrated, though unconsciously, in a sentence Ignatius wrote 
a little later describing Jesuit activity at Rome. "In this way," he 
wrote, "we sought to gain men of learning and position to our side 
or to sfeak more correctly to God's side." 

Apropos, Van Dyke writes: "The chief source of his (Ignatius') 
strength of will was his certain conviction that God had begun 
soon after his conversion to teach him as a boy is taught at school, 

a6 The Jesuit Enigma 

had given him direct revelations of the mysteries of the faith, had 
led him to abandon his original plan of leading his followers to 
Jerusalem, had revealed to him in a vision the name of the Com- 
pany, had guided him in the details of writing the Constitutions and 
was now so close that he could find Him, f whenever needful.' " 8 

Ignatius' confidence in himself and his cause ensured success at 
Rome, all the more so since his training in diplomacy at the Spanish 
Court had taught him how to win a Pope's approval. He first paid 
homage to the Pope and obtained permission for himself and his 
followers to work in Rome. Next he put the Pope under an 
obligation by loaning him the most brilliant of his followers. Then 
he set himself to make powerful friends, to conciliate enemies and to 
edify Rome. Ortiz, the Spanish Ambassador, had above all to be 
won over from hostility to friendship. Ignatius worked upon him, 
and succeeded in getting him to make the "Spiritual Exercises." 
Unfortunately the pious meditations proved too severe a strain for 
the nerves of the old diplomat and he fell into melancholy, obsessed 
by a devil-phobia. Thereupon Ignatius tucked up his cassock and 
danced some lively Basque dances to brighten Ortiz' spirits. 

In 1538 a famine occurred in Rome, and an excellent opportunity 
was afforded Ignatius' followers of giving proof of their fervour. 
They turned their house into a hospital and lodged hundreds of 
starving beggars. Paul III heard everything. He was pleased with 
the young priests. He was a serious-minded Pope, although si- 
moniacal. He had within a week of his election to the Papacy 
made two of his grandsons, one fourteen, the other sixteen years of 
age, Cardinals, and he was lavish in his gifts to his family. His 
morals had not been overstrict as Cardinal, but as Pope he set about 
reforming the Church. And when Ignatius presented to him, in 
1539, a tentative "formula" for the foundation of a new Order, 
he received it sympathetically. 

In drawing up this "formula" Ignatius and his companions had 
spent many months. At first they thought it better to have no rules, 
to be guided by the Holy Spirit alone, but finally they decided for 
rules and obedience, and the standing of "religious." They wanted 
to be in religion, but not as other religious were. They wanted to 
be free to do special works for the Church, and not to be tied down 
8 Op. cit., p. 336. 

The Romance of the Jesuits '27 


to singing the Office in choir, and to a special habit, and special 
penances. Their aim was to be a body of light infantry at the 
beck and call of the Pope, and they resolved to take a special vow 
of obedience to the Pope, calculating no doubt that this would be 
for him an attractive feature in their "formula." In the first 
"formula" there was a democratic provision. Decisions were to! 
be taken by ballot, but this was got rid of later on by Ignatius. 
There were in all sixteen resolutions in the "formula" of 1539, an ^ 
they contained the gist of the subsequent Jesuit Constitutions. Paul 
III handed the document to three Cardinals to be examined, and 
only one of them was in favour of establishing the new Order. 
Later on we shall see how Ignatius got to work, using prayer and 
"other means" and won over the recalcitrant Cardinal Guidiccioni. 
In 1540, by the Bull, Regimini Militantis y Paul III approved the 
Jesuit Order. 

It is not too much to say that at the birth of the Society of Jesus 
diplomacy proved an invaluable midwife. There was less of the 
atmosphere of Bethlehem than of Versailles about this birth, and 
one can doubt if the song of the angels was "peace and good- will 
to men." Neither did the offspring like the other children of the 
family of the Church; Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines and 
the rest, represent distinct maternal traits, simple poverty, homely 
devout preaching and pious seclusion with the chanting of office. 
The new child was more like a foundling, or a strayling that had 
forced itself upon the family and begged for a chance to make good. 
The Society of Jesus was not a natural growth and outcome of 
ascetic tendencies in the Church, but rather a graft-shoot inserted 
in the Church by the strong and dexterous hand of Ignatius. 

Once established as a religious Order, the Company of Jesus 
began to draw up a permanent Constitution. Ignatius took the chief 
part in this work, and the tradition of the Jesuits has it that he 
was inspired, "In making up his mind (upon the Constitutions)," 
writes Fr. Pollen, S.J., "Ignatius was marvellously aided by 
heavenly lights, intelligence and visions. If, as we surely infer, 
the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration 
will not be doubted" * 

The General, executive-in-chief , absolute in authority, was elected 

4 Catholic Encyclopedia. 

28 The Jesuit Enigma 

for life. He could only be deposed for grave crime, against morals 
or the Constitutions, or for mental decay. He, with the advice of 
Assistants, was to divide up the Society into Provinces, and to 
appoint Provincial and Local Superiors. All authority flowed from 
him. There were to be four classes of members. (l) Professed 
Fathers, the Knights, the elite, who made solemn vows, including a 
special vow of obedience to the Pope. They alone were to be given 
higher offices. They were to be the House of Lords, the Senators, 
the Patricians. (2) Coadjutor Fathers, who were to help the 
Knights in battle, and to do the rough ministerial work. They 
were the Plebeians, and only took simple vows. (3) Scholastics, 
who in time were to be ordained, and whose rank as Professed or 
Coadjutors would depend upon the virtue and ability they showed. 
(4) Lay-brothers, who were to do domestic work. They were the 
simple, devoted slaves of the Order. They were never ordained as 
priests. The novices were either "scholastic novices" or "lay- 
brother novices." 

The General could dismiss at will any member, without trial, 
but no member could leave the Order without his consent. All 
were bound by vow to the Order, though the Order was not bound 
to them. The work of the Order was missions, teaching, educating 
the young in their religion, and doing special service for the Pope. 
Obedience of the most absolute kind was imposed on all; it was to 
be the distinctive virtue of the Order. There was to be no choir, 
or chapter, or special dress, or common penances. Each one had 
to open his whole soul, past and present, to whatever Superior he 
had. Each one was to denounce wrong-doing in others, and in 
himself, and to rejoice if he was denounced by others. Government 
was to be secret, and there was to be no voting for Superiors save 
at the election of the General. All were to be ready to go at once 
wherever they were sent, and to take the order of a Superior as the 
order of God. 

In the course of this volume we shall become much better ac- 
quainted with these "inspired" Constitutions. Suffice it here to quote 
again from Van Dyke: "Ignatius' ideal was that of a strictly 
policed barracks with all free time suspended. No one might leave 
the house or receive or send a letter without the permission of his 
Superior. Every month every one wrote all faults he noticed in any 

The "Romance of the Jesuits 29 

other to the head of the house. If he noted any serious faults in 
the head of the house he told them to Ignatius, who never revealed 
the name of his informant." 5 Ignatius was elected the first General 
in 1541, and he ruled until his death in 1556, laying down the 
tradition of government in the Society. He was exceedingly vigi- 
lant, securing reports about his subjects from every source; rigor- 
ously insistant upon discretion; and a severe disciplinarian. He 
punished Bobadilla for imprudence in censuring a decree of Charles 
V, and Rodriguez for insubordination. He reprimanded both 
Lainez and Francis Xavier, and dismissed many from the Society. 
Ignatius experienced failures as well as successes. His missions to 
the Congo and Abyssinia failed; while his emissaries to Ireland, 
Broet and Salmeron, fled for their lives in fear of Henry VIII's 
priest-hunters. On the other hand, , Xavier, whom he sent to the 
East in 1540, had astounding success in Goa, Malabar, the Moluccas 
and Japan. t In Brazil a prosperous mission was set up. At home 
in Europe, Ignatius established nearly a hundred houses and colleges, 
and saw the membership of his Order increase to a thousand. In 
1552 he opened the famous "Collegium Germanicum," to train 
missionaries to fight heresy in Germany. The colleges~at Messina, 
Padua, Palermo and Naples were also founded during his Generalate. 

While Ignatius was directing the fortunes of the new Order at 
Rome, individual Jesuits' led spectacular lives and scored striking 
successes. Faber, and later Canisius, in Germany helped to create 
a counter-reformation and to stem the tide of apostasy from the 
Church. Lainez and Salmeron astonished the Fathers assembled 
at Trent by their learning. In Spain, the_name and prestige of 
Duke Francis Borgia, whom Ignatius received into the Society, did 
much to spread Jesuit influence. In Portugal, Simon Rodriguez 
held sway in the royal court, and throughout Italy the Jesuits 
proved to be wonder-workers. There were scandals here and there 
and difficulties with bishops. Jesuits were excommunicated in 
Toledo by the Archbishop for hearing confessions without his 
permission, and at Saragossa for building a church beside that of 
the Augustinians. At Coimbra the wealth of the Jesuits resulted 
in "frivolity- and good living," and many Portuguese Jesuits had to 
be expelled. 

5 Op. cit., p. 338. 

3O The Jesuit 'Enigma 

An understanding of the character of Ignatius is necessary for 
an understanding of the Order he founded; in it are reflected 
many of his personal characteristics. In the first place, he was 
extremely conservative and reactionary, but he was nevertheless a 
man of rare prudence and foresight. He was exceedingly practical 
and methodical, and proceeded with extreme caution. He attained 
to remarkable self-control, and indeed went so far in this respect 
that he almost dehumanised himself. In spite of his early indiscre- 
tions, which were considered by the Superiors who succeeded him 
"unfit for publication," he miraculously acquired the virtue of 
perfect chastity. A vision, as he tells us in his autobiography, had 
cured him of all carnal thoughts and inclinations. Speaking, as he 
did in his autobiography in the third person, he said: "He saw 
clearly the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus, at whose 
sight for a notable time he felt a surpassing sweetness which 
eventually left him with such a loathing for his past sins, and espe- 
cially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed 
blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent 
to any carnal thought." He grew to be a bald old man with dark 
piercing eyes and a sallow drawn face, in which a tense air of 
untiring energy and infinite resolution lurked. There was, never- 
theless, great calmness and tranquillity about all his movements, 
enhanced by the nobility of his bearing, which commanded respect 
and reverence. He used to spend but four hours in bed, followed 
by four hours of meditation and prayer. Then began a busy day 
of writing letters, interviewing and hearing reports. He was slow 
and methodical in his work, doing everything very carefully and 
thoroughly. He could be very sweet and gentle with subordinates 
or ruthlessly severe. He was interested in social works, and made 
some novel incursions into that field, experimenting in poor laws, 
and building a hostel for prostitutes. But he had no real insight 
into the solution of social problems. He did not foresee the on- 
coming of democracy nor did he recognise any rights in the 
workingman save the right to practise the Catholic religion. 
He was a firm believer in the divine right of kings, and in the 
necessary permanence of autocracy, and he built his hopes of the 
future of the Order on the continuance of the era of privilege. 


30 The Jesuit Enigma 

An understanding of the character of Ignatius is necessary for 
an understanding of the Order he founded; in it are reflected 
many of his personal characteristics. In the first place, he was 
extremely conservative and reactionary, but he was nevertheless a 
man of rare prudence and foresight. He was exceedingly practical 
and methodical, and proceeded with extreme caution. He attained 
to remarkable self-control, and indeed went so far in this respect 
that he almost dehumanised himself. In spite of his early indiscre- 
tions, which were considered by the Superiors who succeeded him 
"unfit for publication," he miraculously acquired the virtue of 
perfect chastity. A vision, as he tells us in his autobiography, had 
cured him of all carnal thoughts and inclinations. Speaking, as he 
did in his autobiography in the third person, he said: "He saw 
clearly the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus, at whose 
sight for a notable time he felt a surpassing sweetness which 
eventually left him with such a' loathing for his past sins, and espe- 
cially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed 
blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent 
to any carnal thought." He grew to be a bald old man with dark 
piercing eyes and a sallow drawn face, in which a tense air of 
untiring energy and infinite resolution lurked. There was, never- 
theless, great calmness and tranquillity about all his movements, 
enhanced by the nobility of his bearing, which commanded respect 
and reverence. He used to spend but four hours in bed, followed 
by four hours of meditation and prayer. Then began a busy day 
of writing letters, interviewing and hearing reports. He was slow 
and methodical in his work, doing everything very carefully and 
thoroughly. He could be very sweet and gentle with subordinates 
or ruthlessly severe. He was interested in social works, and made 
some novel incursions into that field, experimenting in poor laws, 
and building a hostel for prostitutes. But he had no real insight 
into the solution of social problems. He did not foresee the on- 
coming of democracy nor did he recognise any rights in the 
workingman save the right to practise the Catholic religion. 
He was a firm believer in the divine right of kings, and in the 
necessary permanence of autocracy, and he built his hopes of the 
future of the Order on the continuance of the era of privilege. 


The Romance of the Jesuits i 

Ignatius deliberately initiated the Order's policy of cultivating 
the favour of the rich and powerful, and of securing concessions 
and favours from friendly Popes. He believed that without the 
patronage of Kings, Princes and Popes the progress of the Society 
would be too slow. He induced the Pope to take the Society under 
his special protection and to make it independent of bishops. He 
got it privileged vis-a-vis of other Orders so that Jesuits could over- 
ride cherished rights of other Orders. This was a short-sighted 
policy of Ignatius. It was bound, as Clement XIV afterwards 
pointed out, to lead to internal and external trouble. "The tenor 
and even the terms of these Apostolic Constitutions, (privileging 
the Society)," wrote Clement, "show that even at its inception the 
Society saw spring within it various germs of discord and jealousies, 
which not only divided the members, but prompted them to exalt 
themselves above other religious Orders, the secular clergy, the 
universities, the colleges, etc." No more rotten foundation could 
have been chosen to build upon than that of privileges and 
the favour of princes, yet such was the foundation chosen by 

Ignatius' social outlook, his idea of nobility and chivalry, led 
him into another grave mistake. This was the class distinction that 
he introduced between the "tyro jessed, fathers" and the "spiritual 
coadjutors." The former, the Patricians, were supposed to be 
paragons of virtue and learning, and alone fitted to hold high 
office or to teach exalted subjects like theology. 

This system of "grades" in the Society proved disastrous. After 
a while the "professed" began to grow fat and kick. They would 
not live in "professed houses" as they were supposed to do. The 
uncertain maintenance of these houses (they were to be wholly 
dependent on alms), did not suit them; it made dinner hour too 
problematic. Again they preferred to allow the "coadjutors" to 
do the work, and took their ease. In their pride they looked down 
with contempt on the coadjutors and they had to be warned by a 
general Congregation not to sneer at them. Fr. Cordara, S.J., the 
historiographer of the Order at the time of the Suppression, writes 
thus in his Memoirs of these "Apostles": "Many of our 'Apostles' 
wished for a quiet and inactive life under the shade of the colleges; 
they believed they had worked very hard when they had spent the 

32 The Jesuit Enigma 

whole morning in hearing the confessions of a few pious women 
(mulierculse). . . . Many of them after preaching once a week 
to a pious congregation of noblemen or merchants, devoted the 
rest of their time to the care of their bodies or to reading, or else 
spent it in intercourse with friends or in unprofitable conversation. 
I myself have known 'Apostles' who not only shunned all labour 
and trouble, but were more effeminate than women; who thought 
themselves very ill-used if they had to forego their morning 
chocolate or their after-dinner nap; or if they were deprived at 
any time of food or sleep. And yet these were men by birth and 
education unaccustomed to luxury. On the contrary they had 
from youth upwards received a harsh, even a hard training. Their 
effeminacy was acquired in the Society of Jesus." 

There were many other flaws in the conception of Ignatius 
besides the system of "grades" and the policy of "privilege and 
protection." To such, however, we shall refer later. He died in 
1556, in the odour of sanctity, haying launched the Society on its 
strange and wonderful career. He has been spoken of by many 
with contempt, notably by Carlyle, who saw in him "the poison 
fountain from which all these rivers of bitterness that now submerge 
the world have flown." Van Dyke, on the other hand, concludes 
his study of Ignatius with these words: "Who of all those who 
have confessed themselves followers of Christ has been more faith- 
ful than Ignatius Loyola to the ideal which seemed to him true?" 

One of the most interesting incidents of the generalate of 
Ignatius was the reception into the Society of Francis Borgia, 
Duke of Gandia, a Spanish Grandee of the highest rank. He was 
received into the Order soon after the Duchess died, although al- 
lowed to spend a few years settling his vast estates. He endowed 
many Jesuit colleges and bestowed immense wealth on Ignatius. 
In 1550 when he came to Rome to take the habit, Ignatius diplo- 
matically overlooked the fact that as a Jesuit he was bound by rules 
of Common Life. "He was lodged sumptuously in the Jesuit 
house," writes Fr. Campbell, S.J., "part of which Ignatius fitted 
up at great expense to do honour to the illustrious guest." He 
was given a very free hand by Ignatius and was absolved from 
obedience to Superiors. He returned to Spain and caused great 
trouble by his autocratic ways. Fr. Araoz, S.J., Ignatius' nephew, 

The "Romance of the Jesuits 33 

had very fierce disputes with him, but Ignatius, foreseeing his great- 
ness, bore with him patiently. His first public act in the Society 
was to petition a General Congregation to have the monastic prison 
system introduced into the Society. Subsequently Borgia became 
the third General of the Order. He was canonised in 1670. 

Hardly had Ignatius died when trouble began in the Order. 
Ignatius had neglected to nominate a Vicar-General, and Lainez 
was voted into that office by a few professed fathers who were in 
Rome. This incensed the fiery Bobadilla. He accused Lainez of 
usurping authority and appealed to the Pope. The disgruntled 
Rodriguez and the gentle Broet joined Bobadilla. They circulated 
letters, "libelli," against Lainez, and claimed a share in the govern- 
ment of the Society. Finally the Pope sent Cardinal Carpi to settle 
the dispute, and after two years of trouble Lainez was elected 
General. After his election he had to face one of those constantly 
recurring crises in the history of the Society, the efforts of an 
"unfriendly" Pope to change certain of the Society's "revealed" 

The Pope in question, Paul IV, hated Spaniards and regarded 
all Jesuits as Spaniards. He tried in vain to get rid of the Order 
in toto by combining it with the Theatines. Next he sought to 
reform the Order, but found there were limits to Jesuit obedience. 
He commanded that Jesuits should sing Office in Choir like other 
Orders and that their Generals should only be elected for a period 
of three years. Lainez and Salmeron called on him to enlighten 
him; a proceeding that became the custom of the Order in similar 
cases. The reception of the emissaries was far from friendly, but 
a little time was gained and the Pope "providentially" died before 
he could enforce his will. Later on we shall come across similar 
"providential deaths" in the cases of Sixtus V and Innocent XI. 

The intrusion of the Jesuit General Lainez at the "Colloquy 
of Poissy" in 1561 was an event of some moment and indicative 
of the growing part that the Society was to play in world affairs. 
The Colloquy was an effort of Catherine de Medici to reconcile 
the Catholics and Huguenots of France. Things were going fairly 
well when Lainez arrived, but in his very first address he threatened 
Catherine with dire evils if she disgraced France by tolerating 
heresy. As a result the Colloquy broke up and angry parties wefeT 

34 The Jesuit Enigma 

formed. His reproaches addressed to the Queen Mother brought 
"the tears to her eyes," and he foretold the ruin of the realm if she 
did not drive out "the wolves, foxes, serpents and assassins." "3 

During the generalate of Lainez the Order reached a member- 
ship of thirty-five hundred, which was divided into eighteen prov- 
inces. This swift growth was maintained under Francis Borgia, 
who succeeded Lainez as General. Borgia had, like Lainez, to 
fight a Pope, the gentle Saint Pius V, who insisted on Jesuits singing 
the Office. In the end they had to submit (while awaiting the 
Pope's death), but their submission consisted in singing choir, after 
a fashion, in two out of the one hundred and fifty institutions 
of the Order. 

We shall deal with only one other general, Claudius Acquaviva, 
(1581 to 1615) as he has been called "the Saviour of the Society," 
and as he left his stamp deeply impressed on the Order. Acquaviva 
was only thirty-eight years of age when elected General. He was 
son of the Duke of Atri, and had been a page in the Papal Court. 
He was highly gifted in every way, and had been called (by 
Cardinal Ormanetto) "the finest ornament of the Apostolic Col- 
lege." In entering the Order he abandoned a sure hope of the 
Roman Purple. He was exceedingly astute, a diplomat to his 
finger-tips, and well versed in all the arts of secret government. 
He perfected the espionage system of the Society, and strengthened 
the hands of Superiors, rendering the subjection of individual 
Jesuits to their Superiors as complete as possible. He drew up an 
extraordinary document called Industrie?, a treatise on soul-healing, 
to which we shall devote a chapter, and he drew up in its final, 
unchangeable form the Jesuit doctrine and method of education 
known as the Ratio Studiorum. Endowed with extraordinary per- 
sonal charm, and with infinite sweetness and patience of manner, 
he was, nevertheless, an extreme reactionary and absolutist, a 
tyrant, almost a bloody tyrant, posing as the gentlest of modest 

Acquaviva had hardly taken in hands the reins of office when 
what is called by Jesuit writers "the Great Storm" broke out in 
the Spanish Province of the Society. It was open and fierce re- 
bellion, backed by the keenest wits and the most venerable personal- 
ities of the Order. It was supported from outside by Philip II 

The 'Romance of the Jesuits 35 

of Spain, the Spanish Inquisition and to a great extent by Pope 
Sixtus V and later by Pope Clement VIII. "The greatest service 
that Acquaviva rendered the Society," writes Fr. Campbell, S.J., 
"and for which it will ever bless his memory is that he saved it 
from destruction in a fight that ran through the thirty years of his 
generalate and in which he found opposed to him Popes, Kings 
and Princes, along with the terrible authority of the Spanish In- 
quisition, and worst of all a number of discontented members of 
the Order, banded together and resorting to the most reprehensible 
tactics to alter completely the character of the Institute." 6 The 
"discontented members," described later by the Fifth General Con- 
gregation as "pests; false sons; disturbers of the peace; revolution- 
ists; degenerate sons," included Fr. Araoz, Ignatius' nephew, to 
whom the Saint had written, "if I doubted your fidelity I know no 
man in whom I could trust"; Cardinal Toletus of whom Gregory 
XIV had written, "We affirm in all truthfulness that he is incon- 
testably the most learned man living to-day; we have a greater 
opinion still of his integrity and his irreproachable life"; and 
others whom Clement XIV described as "conspicuous for their 
knowledge and foety" Whatever the merits of the "revolution- 
aries," and whatever the sympathies of the Popes and Kings in 
their efforts to reform the Constitutions, Acquaviva triumphed and 
ordered many expulsions from the Society. Few of the "rebels" 
were however expelled, as outside influence' was too strongly in their 
favour. , 

Under Acquaviva prosperous missions were established in Chile, 
Paraguay, Canada, China and the Philippine Islands and the mem- 
bership of the Society mounted to over thirteen thousand, divided 
into thirty-two provinces. The Society now owned five hundred 
and fifty-nine houses and its wealth was enormous. This increase 
was maintained steadjly until the time of the Suppression in 1773, 
when the membership reached its highest figure, 22,589, and the 
number of its colleges, residences and mission-stations was about 
fifteen hundred. 

The circumstances leading up to the Suppression of the Order 
by Pope Clement XIV; the manner in which the Order evaded 
the Brief of Suppression and continued an illegitimate existence 
6 The Jesuits, p. 200. 

3 6 The Jesuit Enigma 

in Prussia, Russia and China; and the subsequent re-establishment 
of the Order by Pope Pius VII in 1814 will be referred to during 
the course of this work. The two centuries which passed between 
the foundation of the Society in 1540 and its Suppression in 1773 
were full of varied activity and adventure; adventure on the, 
mission-field; excursions into politics; exploitation of new theories 
of morality founded on "probabilism," gigantic educational enter- 
prises, prolific writing on theology, Jesuit asceticism and classical 

It may be well at this point to give some inkling as to the nature 
of Jesuit activities in education, on the missions and in literature. 
In doing so we shall freely quote from Fr. Campbell, S.J., 7 who 
in turn quotes from Bohmer-Monod, 8 and others. 

"In 1556 eight fathers and twelve scholastics made their appear- 
ance at Ingolstadt in Bavaria. The poison of heresy was imme- 
diately ejected, and the old Church took on a new life. The trans- 
formation was so prodigious that it would seem rash to attribute 
it to these few strangers, but their strength was in inverse proportion 
to their numbers. They captured the head and the heart of the 
country, from the Court and local University down to the people, 
and for centuries they held that position. After Ingolstadt, came 
Dillingen and Wiirzburg. Munich College was founded in 1559, 
and in 1602 it had nine hundred pupils. The Jesuits succeeded 
in converting the Court into a Convent, and Munich into a German 
Rome. In 1597 they were entrusted with the superintendence of 
all the primary schools of the country, and they established new 
colleges at Altoetting and Mindelheim. In 1627 fifty of them 
went into the Upper Palatinate, which was entirely Protestant, 
and in ten years they had established four new colleges. ... In 
Bohemia and Moravia . . . the twenty colleges and eleven semi- 
naries which they controlled in 1679 proved at least that the higher 
education and the formation of ecclesiastics was altogether in their \ 
hands, and the seven establishments and colleges on the northern 
frontier overlooking Lutheran Saxony made it evident that they 
were determined to guard Bohemia against the poison of heresy. 
... In Poland ... the Jesuits enjoyed incredible popularity. 
In 1600 the college at Polotsk had four hundred students, all of 

7 The Jesuits, pp. 346-7. 8 Les JJsuites. 

The "Romance of the Jesuits 37 

whom were nobles; Vilna had eight hundred, mostly belonging to 
the Lithuanian nobility, and Kalisch had five hundred. Fifty years 
later all the higher education was in the hands of the Order, and 
Ignatius became literally the 'freceftor Polonice? and Poland the 
classic land of the royal scholarship of the North as Portugal was 
in the South. ... In India there were nineteen colleges and two 
seminaries; in Mexico fourteen colleges and two seminaries; in 
Brazil thirteen colleges and two seminaries; in Paraguay seven 
colleges. In 1640 the Society had in France sixty-five colleges, 
two academies, two seminaries, nine boarding schools, seven noviti- 
ates, four professed houses, sixteen residences and 2,050 members." 
The literary activity of the Order was no less great than its edu- 
cational activity. It is claimed that there have been 120,000 
Jesuit authors, and writes Fr. Campbell, "the inundation of Jesuit 
books grew so alarming that the enemies of the Church complained 
that it was a plot of the Jesuits, who, being unable to suppress 
other books, had determined to deluge die world with their own 
publications."* One Jesuit author, Fr. Kircher, "wrote about 
everything," publishing in Rome alone forty-four folio volumes. 
Each of the many Jesuit theologians fills a shelf or two, of theo- 
logical libraries. Fr. Gretser went a little further and produced 
229 different works, exclusive ^of thirty-nine MSS., which he left 
behind him. Jesuit scientists, Secchi, Clavius, Schneiner and others, 
also published their researches, and Jesuit grammars and editions 
(expurgated) of the classics abounded. 

Perhaps the most remarkable and valuable literary work of the 
Jesuits is the A cta> Sanctorum of the "Bollandists." This work was 
begun early in the seventeenth century and has been continued to 
the present time, reaching sixty-six volumes of scholarly research 
into the lives of the saints. Alexander VII said of this work, in 
1643, tnat "there never had been undertaken a work more glorious 
or more useful to the Church." It shows the potentiality for good 
of the continued and well-directed effort, of a perennial body of 
devoted scholars. The word "Bollandists" is derived from the 
name of Fr. Bollandus, who succeeded Fr. Rosweyde, the founder 
of the enterprise. 

There is no doubt that the most romantic figures in Jesuit 

38 The Jesuit Enigma 

history are to be found among the great missionaries of the Order, 
whether in China, Japan, India, Canada, Brazil or the Congo. 

Incredible devotion and heroism were displayed by Jesuit mis- 
sionaries, and not unfrequently phenomenal successes attended their 
sacrifices. The journeyings of Isaac Jogues among the Iroquois;. 
of De Smet in the Rockies; of Andrada in Thibet; of Paez along 
the Nile, and the lives of such men as Beschi and Nobili in Madura 
are not only full of interest but compel profound admiration. 
Taking, as a type of heroic and original missionary work, that of 
Fr. Constant Beschi, who continued Fr. de Nobili's mission in 
Madura, we find the following: 10 

"The most dazzling of these picturesque missionaries was un- 
doubtedly the Italian, Constant Beschi, who arrived in Madura in 
1700, one hundred years after de Nobili and twenty-eight after 
de Britto. He determined to surpass all the Saniassis or Brahmins 
in the austerity of his life. He remained in his house most of the 
time and would never touch anything that had life in it. On his 
forehead was the pottu of Sandanam and on his head the coulla, 
a sort of cylindrical headdress made of velvet. He was girt with 
somen, was shod with the ceremonious wooden footgear, and pearls 
hung from his ears. He never went out except in a palanquin, 
in which tiger skins had to be placed for him to sit on, while a 
servant stood on either side fanning him with peacock feathers, 
and a third held above his head a silken parasol surmounted by a 
globe of gold. He was called 'The Great Viramamvuni,' and like 
Bonaparte he sat 'wrapped in the solitude of his own originality.' 
Not even a Jesuit could come near him or speak to him. A word 
of Italian never crossed his lips, but he plunged into Sanskrit, 
Telugu and Tamil, studied the poets of Hindostan, and wrote 
poems that conveyed to the Hindoos a knowledge of Christianity. 
For forty years he was publicly honoured as the 'Ismat Saniassi,' 
that is, the 'penitent without stain.' The Nabob of Trichinopoli 
was so enthusiastic about him that Beschi had to accept the post 
of Prime Minister, and thenceforth he never went abroad unless 
accompanied by thirty horsemen, twelve banner-bearers and a band 
of military music, while a long train of camels followed in the 
rear. If, on his way, any Jesuit who was looking after the Pariahs 
10 Cf. Campbell, p. 234. 

The Romance of the Jesuits '39 

came across his path, there was no recognition on either side, but 
both must have been amused as the Jesuit in rags prostrated himself 
in the dust before the silk-robed Jesuit in the cavalcade, the outcast 
not daring to look at the great official, though perhaps they were 
intimate friends." 

Such devotion as that of Beschi was productive of an immense 
number of conversions to Christianity, arid for a long time the 
Church flourished at Madura. 

Then there began the inevitable display of pride and intolerance 
on the part of the Jesuits which led to the undoing of the splendid 
work of the brave and original pioneers, Nobili, Britto and Beschi. 
Missionaries belonging to other Orders were kept at bay, or de- 
nounced at Rome. Papal legates were treated with scant courtesy. 
Casuistry was employed to justify the practice of pagan rites and 
superstitions. Orders from Rome were disobeyed. And the primi- 
tive fervent missionary spirit was replaced by one of intrigue and 
contumacy. One papal legate in particular, Cardinal de Tournon, 
who condemned outright the Jesuit missionary methods known as 
"The Malabar and Chinese Rites," was apparently treated with the 
utmost indignity by the Jesuits, and Lazarist Missionary Fathers 
went so far as to assert that the Jesuits procured his death by 
poisoning. In Jesuit missions we have the characteristic mark of j 
Jesuit enterprise, initial stupendous success, culminating in disastrous 

During the nineteenth century the Order had quickly regained 
its numerical strength, and its material power. To-day it numbers 
about nineteen thousand members, of whom about three thousand 
five hundred are in the States. Its wealth is again very great and 
the number and magnificence of its colleges and churches does not 
fall much short of pre-suppression days. It has again regained a 
position of stability and has renewed its old methods, though its 
external policy has been modified by the spread of democracy. 
There are few countries now in which it can pursue so spectacular 
a career as in its early days. 

The nineteenth century has been called by Jesuit historians "A 
Century of Disasters" on account of its adverse fortunes in Spain, 
Portugal, Italy, France and Mexico. Only in Protestant, or at 
least non-Catholic, countries like England, Holland and America 

4-6 The Jesuit Enigma 

has it made uninterrupted progress. In Catholic countries the 
Order took its stand with the old reactionary regime, and when 
the people, as in Spain, rose up against this survival of absolutist 
methods, the Jesuits were driven out, but they always managed to 
return again with some fluctuation of politics. 

If we take Spain as an example of what has happened to the 
Order in Catholic countries since its restoration, we shall find 
various comings and goings, enrichments and spoliations. 

In 1815 Ferdinand VII of Spain welcomed back the Jesuits and 
ordered the restoration of their estates. About one hundred and 
fifty members of the old Order answered the roll-call and began 
to open colleges and novitiates. In 1820 they had increased to 
four hundred. Meanwhile Ferdinand had torn up the liberal 
constitution that he had promised the people to observe, and had 
initiated a policy of stern repression. By 1820 the middle classes 
were in revolt, the Cortes were summoned, and with only one 
dissentient voice the expulsion of the Jesuits was decreed (August, 
1820). A few years later the French King interfered and the 
Jesuits were restored. Ferdinand's regime was re-established. Of 
this regime Major Hume wrote : "Modern civilisation has seen no 
such instance of brutal blind ferocity." Under it however the 
Jesuits thrived. They were put in charge of the College of Nobles 
at Madrid, and the large military college at Segura. 

Ferdinand died in 1833, an< ^ within two years a Liberal Ministry 
took up office and expelled the Jesuits. The Carlist wars followed 
and the majority of the Jesuits threw in their lot with Don Carlos, 
opening colleges in the regions which Don Carlos controlled. One 
Jesuit was his confessor; another was tutor to his children; while 
others served as chaplains to his troops. When the ill-fated Don 
Carlos was finally defeated the Jesuits lost their foothold in Spain, 
and only a few remained in the country, in hiding. In 1852, 
when the Concordat was signed the Jesuits were allowed to return, 
finding a patroness in the incompetent Isabella II, but when she 
was deposed in 1868 the Jesuits were again expelled. On the acces- 
sion of Alfonso XII they returned and have ever since enjoyed 
wealth and power. At present they possess colleges and estates of 
enormous value, and are in favour with the Royal Family, but the 
Spanish Liberals are determined to expel them at the first oppor- 

The Romance of the Jesuits 41 

tunity. "They were expecting another expulsion in 1912," writes 
Fr. Campbell, "when the great war was threatening. Possibly the 
hideous scenes enacted in Portugal in 1912, (when the Jesuits were 
expelled from that country), were deemed sufficient by the revolu- 
tionaries for the time being." 

The reason for these expulsions is said by the Jesuits to be 
hatred of the faith, and a desire to rob the Order of its "supposed" 
possessions} while Liberals say that the Jesuits bring these mis- 
fortunes upon themselves by their determined support of reaction, 
repression and absolutism. 

The activities of the Jesuit Order to-day are as varied, if not 
as conspicuous as at the great epoch of its history, the close of the 
seventeenth century. Jesuits continue to conduct colleges and unir 
versities; to publish periodicals; to organise congregations and 
sodalities; to labour as missionaries in remote regions; to preach in 
great cathedrals; to act as spiritual guides for religious, and for 
secular priests; to assail heresy wherever it is to be found; and to 
censor trends of doctrine or learning that they consider dangerous 
or unorthodox. Their influence at Rome is still very great, and 
among the rich and noble of the Catholic Church they are looked 
upon as the most valiant defenders of the faith. But the bold 
enterprising spirit of the early followers of Ignatius is no more. 
The Order has deteriorated in many ways. It is less flexible; less 
in touch with the age; less sure of itself; less disinterested; and 
less imbued with the charity of Christ. It is more reactionary than 
ever; more wedded to formula and method; more tenacious of 
custom and tradition; more removed from its original Pauline aim 
of being "all things to all men." 

Occasionally it wakes up to a sense of its decay and makes a 
bold bid to attract attention and to regain popularity, as when 
during the Great War it vociferously chanted the chauvinist 
songs of the warring nations, and recalled its missionaries from 
the Far East to don khaki and shoulder rifles. But in no way 
did it demonstrate its decadence more clearly than in thus allowing 
itself to be swept away from its mission of peace by the hysterical 
plaudits of war-mad nations. 

In considering the "Jesuit Romance" as a whole one is struci 

42 The Jesuit Enigma 

by its similarity with the Romance of the Jewish Nation. Jesuit 
and Jew have been throughout their history the fugitives of the 
Human Race; in turn, hunted, persecuted and hated. In the Old 
Testament the Jew was proud of being the Chosen of the Lord; 
predestined to Salvation; the Guardian of the Deposit of Faith.- 
He was self-righteous, stiff-necked and intolerant. Since the close 
of the Renaissance the Jesuit has worn the cloak of the offspring 
of David, going forth as the Prophet of the Almighty; the selected 
Companion of the Messiah; the Predestined one; self-righteous, 
unbending, arrogant and censorious. Jew and Jesuit believe in 
privilege and claim the fulfilment of their sacred bonds. "Give 
me my bond," quoth Shylock. It is true that the Jews of old 
crucified Christ, while the Jesuits exalt His Name. But it was 
not so much the body of Christ that the Jewish Priests wished to 
destroy, as the spirit of freedom, the teaching of new things, that 
Christ typified. There is no proof that Jewish Priests were as 
bitterly opposed to novelties as the Jesuits. "If Superiors," we 
read in the Jesuit Constitutions, "discover that any of their subjects 
show a leaning towards dangerous novelties, (novitates), they must 
admonish them seriously, and if they do not amend their ways, 
they must send them elsewhere depriving them of their right to 
teach and of any office they may hold, and they must not hesitate 
to threaten them with other penalties according to the degree of 
their guilt." 11 

Where, in the Talmud, are we to find so strong a declaration 
for Reaction? 

As a race the Jews have shown great perseverance, great tenacity 
of purpose, great ability in the acquisition of wealth and influence. 
The Jesuits are likewise distinguished by these traits. Jews have 
been reproached for flattering the rich overmuch; for their hair- 
splitting dialectics; for their excessive reverence for authority; for 
their subtlety in their dealings with fellow men. Curiously enough 
these same reproaches have been hurled from age to age against 
the Jesuits. Jesuits have, however, no fellow-feeling for the 
members of the race whose psychology is so kin to their own. 
In the Order hatred of the Jews is traditional. It has never been 
forgotten that many of the Jesuit leaders in the Great Spanish 

11 Epitome Constitution, S.J., 321. 

The "Romance of the Jesuits 43 

Rebellion, described above, were of Jewish origin, and it is for- 
bidden to admit any one of Jewish descent into the Order. 
Japanese, Chinese, Indians and Negroes may be admitted into the 
Society of Jesus, but never, under any circumstances, a Jew! 

Economic forces have played a controlling part in the history 
of the Children of Israel, and unless one is much mistaken economic 
forces play a very prominent part in guiding the wanderings of the 
Sons of Ignatius. Jews and Jesuits are gathered to-day in the 
great rich cities of this New World of the West. From the Cave 
of Manresa in Spain, or from the Holy Mount of Sinai, to the 
traffic signals of New York is a long, long cry, but it falls far 
short of representing the distance that separates the twin exiles, 
Jew and Jesuit, alike in so many ways, who brush shoulders day 
by day in our midst. 



IN the preceding chapter it is stated that "running through the 
whole Romance of the Jesuits one finds the ever-present enigma, 
the contradiction inseparable from Jesuitism; the interchanging of 
opposites; wealth that is evangelical poverty; equivocation that is 
truth; laxity that is purity of doctrine; wrongs rendered good by the 
end in view; gross disobedience that is holy docility; rotting idle- 
ness that is meritorious labour in the vineyard; astute and cunning 
diplomacy that is doverlike simplicity; heroism that is the offspring 
of fear; chilling indifference that is the charity of Christ." 

But does this "contradictoriness" exist? Is the Order wealthy 
and poor; equivocating and truthful; lax yet pure in doctrine; 
wrong-doing for good ends; disobedient and still docile; idle and 
laborious; cunning and all the while simple; heroic and yet cow- 
ardly; cold and still loving? If it be so the Order must be 
profoundly tainted with some deep and poisonous kind of insincerity, 
which needs must have betrayed itself in its history. 

Carlyle with the utmost bitterness and ferocity hurls this charge 
of insincerity, deep and poisonous insincerity, at Ignatius and his 
followers. He did not know much about the Jesuits, but he found 
the mind of his century tainted with insincerity, and by a true or 
false intuition, without any historical research into the matter, 
he traced the evil to Ignatius. "That no man speak the truth to 
you or to himself, but that every man lie with blasphemy and 
acidity and does not know that he is lying before God and man 
in regard to almost all manner of things. This is the fell heritage 
bequeathed to us by Ignatius" . . . "Cant and even sincere cant. 
O Heaven, when a man doing his sincerest is still but canting! 
For this is the sad condition of the insincere man; he is doomed 
all his days to deal with insincerities, to live, move, and have his 
being in conventionalities" . . . "men had served the Devil, and 


The Jesuit TLnigma 45 

men had very imperfectly served God; but to think that God could 
be served more perfectly by taking the Devil into partnership; this 
was a novelty of Saint Ignatius." 

If it be possible to give illustrations of this "Jesuit contradictori- 
ness," the only fair way to do so is to bring forward examples 
from authoritative writings on the Jesuits by Jesuits themselves, 
and lest it should be thought that this can only be done by reference 
to archaic books by early Jesuits, I propose to confine myself to the 
only two recent documents published by Jesuits about the Jesuits 
in this country. One is the official history of the Order, The 
Jesuits y published by Fr. T. J. Campbell, S.J., in 1921, and the 
other the Article on the Jesuits by Fr. J. H. Pollen, S.J., in the 
current Catholic Encyclopedia. Both Fr. Campbell and Fr. Pollen 
enjoyed the esteem and confidence of their Superiors, and wrote 
with the full official sanction of the Order. 

In the Epitome of the Revised Jesuit Constitutions, 1 we read: 
"Ours must most faithfully bend all their forces to the practice of 
the virtue of Obedience, showing Obedience in the first place 
towards the Pope, and next towards the Superiors of the Society." 
And Fr. Campbell, 2 boasts that "the most profound affection and 
reverence for the Holy See is one of the ingrained and distinctive 
traits of the Society." "This is what is meant by Jesuit obedience," 
writes Fr. Pollen, "the characteristic virtue of the Order; such a 
sincere respect for authority as to accept its decisions and comply 
with them, not merely by outward performance but in all sincerity 
with the conviction that compliance is best, and that the command 
expresses for the time the will of God, as nearly as it can be 

The Jesuit Constitutions, together with Fr. Campbell and Fr. 
Pollen, all emphasise obedience, and obedience implied perfect 
docility towards the Pope, as the characteristic virtue of the Jesuit 
Order. It will therefore be apropos to examine whether or not there 
was "contradictoriness" in Jesuit obedience to the Pope. If there 
was, the enigma of "gross disobedience which is holy docility," is 
characteristic of the Order. 

Ignatius had died in 1556, and Paul JV, who was "none too 

1 Published in 1924 (sec. 466). 

2 P. 588. 

46 The Jesuit TLnigma 

friendly," 8 began to have trouble with the Jesuits over the election 
of General. In spite of the wishes of the Pope, Borgia, Araoz, 
Lainez and other leading Jesuits determined to hold the election in 
Spain in order apparently to be free of papal interference. "This 
so incensed the Pope that Lainez, though greatly admired by PauJ 
IV, obtained an audience only with the greatest difficulty, and was 
then ordered to hand over the Constitutions for examination . . . 
there was immediate danger on several occasions of serious changes 
being made in the Constitutions of the Society. The Pope had 
been dissuaded from urging most of them but he refused to be 
satisfied on one point, namely the recitation of the divine office. 
He insisted that it must be sung in choir as was the rule in other 
religious Orders. Lainez had to yield and for a time the Society 
conformed to the decision, but the Pofe soon died." * 

Both Campbell and Pollen suppress the real facts of this bitter 
struggle between the Jesuits and Paul IV, and of the decision of 
the General Congregation to oppose the changes contemplated by 
the Pope, and of the Pope's condemnation of their "contumacy." 6 
Campbell's pretence that the Jesuits conformed to the Pope's order 
about singing the office in choir is based on the fact that in a few 
Jesuit "Professed" houses they introduced the singing of Vespers! 1 

We come next to the relations between the Society and Pope 
Saint Pius V. "When Pius V was elected Pope," writes Fr. 
Campbell (p. 54), "there was a general fear that he would suppress 
the Society. . . . He was, however, about to revoke the Society's 
exemption from the office of Choir; but Borgia Induced him to 
change his mind on that 'point, and even obtained a perpetual 
exemption from the public recitation of the Office." This action 
of Borgia may seem quite legitimate to the lay mind and in no way 
inconsistent with obedience, but it must be remembered that Jesuits 
set themselves a standard of obedience with which Borgia's action 
was absolutely inconsistent. "You must diligently be on your 
guard lest at any time whatsoever you strive to turn the Superior's 
will, which you must regard as the divine will, to your own will; 
such conduct is not conforming your will to the divine will, but 
an effort to rule the divine will by your own, overturning the order 
of Divine Wisdom. How 'plain Is the error of those blinded by 

8 Campbell, p. 100. 4 Ibid,, p. 101. 6 Cf. Sacchini, S.J. 

The Jesuit "Enigma 47 

self-love y who esteem themselves obedient when they by some reason 
persuade the Superior to that which they themselves desire" 6 Pollen 
with rare diplomacy refers to this disobedience towards Pius V 
thus: "One of the most delicate tasks of Borgia's government was 
to negotiate with Pope Saint Pitts V who desired to reintroduce the 
singing of Office" If the Pope's will equates with "the Will of 
God," as Jesuits pretend, was it obedience to "negotiate?' over the 

When Pope Gregory XIII, their lord and master, ventured in 
1572 to warn the Jesuits against electing a fourth Spanish General, 
the Order expressed resentment at his interference, which once more 
was absolutely out of harmony with the Jesuit theory of obedience. 
"A remonstrance" writes Fr. Campbell, 7 "was respectfully made 
that His Holiness was thus withdrawing from the Society its right 
of freedom of election." 

Between Sixtus V (1585 to 1590) and the Society there existed 
the most strained relations. Sixtus was worried to death by the 
internal and external wrangles and troubles of the Jesuits. The 
"Spanish Rebellion" had broken out, and Philip II of Spain had 
complained to him about the arrogance and unrestricted powers of 
the Jesuits in his dominions. "All this finally convinced Sixtus V," 
writes Campbell, 8 "that there was something radically wrong with 
the Society, and he ordered the Congregation of Holy Rites (the 
Roman Inquisition) to examine the Constitutions." Sixtus made 
up his mind to reform the Society, but the General, Acquaviva, set 
to work to forestall his plans. Through Jesuit agents he got Kings 
and Princes to write to the Pope, some with veiled threats, warning 
him against touching the Jesuit Constitutions. "The protest of the 
Duke of Bavaria especially startled the Pontiff, and he surmised 
that it was a Jesuit fabrication, or that it had been asked for or 
suggested. Such was really the case. The points had been drawn 
up by Alber, the provincial of Germany, and the Duke had heartily 
approved of them." * The diplomacy of the Order, now fifty years 
old, was rapidly improving, at the expense, however, of the virtue 
of obedience. 

Meanwhile Acquaviva had been working on the "Congregation 

6 Cf. Epistle of St. Ignatius on Obedience, Sec. 8. 

7 P. 132. 8 P. 207. Campbell, p. 208. 

48 The Jesuit Enigma 

of Holy Rites" and got them to delay their report. "Up to that 
time the Sacred Congregation, whose members, especially Caraffa, 
were friendly to the Society had purposely delayed sending in a 
report to the Pope. He was indignant at this and handed the case 
over to four theologians. Their verdict was in conformity with 
the views of Sixtus (l,e., hostile to the Jesuits). They were more, 
timid than the Cardinals." 10 Sixtus, however, found himself help- 
less. Acquaviva had drawn from him the support of his Cardinals 
and he could do almost nothing. "One thing, however, he insisted 
on and that was the change of the name (Society of Jesus), and 
he ordered Acquaviva to send in a formal request to that effect. 
There was nothing to do but to submit and the Pope signed the 
Brief, but . . . that night Sixtus died. ... As was to be expected, 
the Society was accused of having something to do with the Pope's 
opportune demise" 1X One wonders if this obVioiis gratification at 
Sixtus' "opportune demise," is in accord with "the most profound 
affection and reverence for the Holy See which is one of the in- 
grained and distinctive traits of the Society"? 

Clement VIII (1592 to 1605) "suggested to the Jesuit Congre- 
gation four harmless changes, the three first were readily accepted 
and the fourth respectfully rejected." 12 Once more we have an 
example of how the Order as a whole obeys "the least sign of its 
Superior's will." 

The papacy of Innocent XI (1676 to 1689) was a trying time 
for the Society. All their prosperity in France depended on their 
keeping on friendly terms with Louis XIV, but Louis was at war 
with Innocent over the regale, the royal right to administer the 
revenues of vacant sees. The Jesuits did their best not to take 
sides, "to keep out of the controversy," 1S which meant that they did 
not think it prudent to stand by the Pope. The bishops, mostly 
nominees of Louis, sided with him and refused to publish Papal 
Bulls. Innocent however drew up a Bull against Louis, and en- 
trusted it to the Jesuits for publication. "The situation was most 
embarrassing but before the copies were delivered) they were seized 
by the authorities. yy 14 Fr. Campbell admits the embarrassment of 
having to obey the Pope, thus risking the displeasure of the King, 

1 Campbell, p. 208. Ibid., p. 209. 12 Ibid., p. 213. 

18 Campbell, p. 411. 14 Ibid., p. 411. 

The Jesuit Enigma 49 

but he does not tell how the Jesuits escaped from this embarrassing 
situation. If the "copies had been delivered," the Jesuits would 
have had to publish them. They arranged therefore that the copies 
should not be delivered by forewarning the Government and having 
them seized! 

Fr. Campbell then tells how Fr. Dez, S.J., acted when en- 
trusted by Innocent with another Bull excommunicating Louis. 
Fr. Dez was on his way from Rome to France. 

"For a Frenchman to be the bearer of a Bull excommunicating 
his King, especially such a king as Louis XIV, was not without 
danger; but Dez was equal to the task. He directed his steps In 
such a leisurely fashion towards Paris that his brethren in Italy had 
time to appeal to the Pope to withdraw the decree. Fortunately the 
Pope yielded." 15 

What of the "-prompt" and "blind" obedience of which Jesuits 
boast? On account of these and other matters which occurred in 
France Innocent XI lost confidence in the Society. "Innocent XI," 
writes Fr. Pollen, "was dissatisfied with the position the Society 
adopted, and threatened to suppress the Order, proceeding even 
so far as to forbid the reception of Novices." One cannot help 
noticing the mildness of the term "dissatisfied," used by Fr. Pollen 
to describe the anger of an outraged Pope. 

Benedict XIV (1740 to 1758) found it necessary to issue 
several briefs insisting on the obedience of the Jesuit missionaries 
to the injunctions laid upon them by Cardinal de Tournon nearly 
fifty years previously, which in spite of the insistence of four Popes 
had been disobeyed. He subjected the Order to the extreme hu- 
miliation of appointing an Official Visitator, Cardinal Saldanha, 
to the Province of Portugal, with a view to its reform. 

We have now to consider the Jesuit attitude towards Pope 
Clement XIV who suppressed the Order in 1773. Fr. Campbell 
defines this attitude as follows: 

"To be regarded as reprobates by the Pope and branded as dis- 
turbers of the peace of the Church was a suffering with which all 
they had hitherto undergone bore no comparison. Nevertheless they 
uttered no protest. They submitted absolutely and died without a 
murmur, and in this silence they were true to their lifelong training 

15 Campbell, p. 411. 

50 The Jesuit Enigma 

for loyalty to the See of Peter had always been the distinctive mark 
of the Society of Jesus. . . . Not a word came from this heroic 
band to discuss the wisdom or unwisdom of the act. . . . The 
Jesuits defended and eulogised him (Clement XIV), and some of 
them even maintained that in the terrible circumstances in which he 
found himself he could not have done otherwise. ... The Sup- 
pression gave them the chance which they did not miss to 'prove to 
the world . . . and to show that their doctrine of 'blind obedience* 
was not a matter of mere words, but an achievable and achieved 
virtue. . . . It was the act of the whole Society of Jesus" 16 

We find that Fr. Campbell repeats in this passage the common 
Jesuit claim that when the Vicar of Christ suppressed the Order: 

1 I ) It "uttered no protest." 

(2) It "submitted absolutely" giving a perfect example of 
"blind obedience." 

(3) It "defended and eulogised" its executioner. 

We have here an excellent opportunity of testing the reality of 
the Jesuit enigma; disobedience that is submission; equivocation 
that is truth ; wrong rendered good by the end in view and so forth. 

Did the Jesuits "utter no protest," did they "submit absolutely," 
did they "defend and eulogise" the Pope that had suppressed them?. 

( I ) The Society "uttered no 'protest" 

Within two years of the suppression (Nov., 1775), Fr. Ricci, 
the General of the suppressed Order, published the following "to 
be made public throughout the world" : 1T 

"I now make the two following declarations and 'protests'. First, 
I declare and protest, that the extinct Society of Jesus has given no 
reason for its Suppression. . . . Second, I declare and protest that 
I have given no reason, not even the slightest for my imprisonment. 
... I make this second protest solely because it is necessary for 
the reputation of the extinct Society of which I was Superior. I 
do not pretend in consequence of these protests that I or any one 
may judge as guilty before God any of those who have injured the 
Society of Jesus or myself. ... I pardon all those who have tor- 
tured and harmed me, first by the evils they have heaped upon the 
Society, and by the rigorous measures they have employed in dealing 
with its members; secondly, by the extinction of the Society and by 
10 P. 550. "C/. Campbell, pp. 580, 581. 

The Jesuit TLnigma 51 

its accompanying circumstances; thirdly, by my own imprisonment 
and the hardships they have added to it; and by the harm they have 
done to my reputation, all of which are public and notorious facts. 
I pray God to pardon all the authors of the above-mentioned evils 
and wrongs as well as their co-operators." 

Whether or not this statement, issued by the Jesuit General, on 
behalf of the Society, and attributing "evils and wrongs" to "all 
the authors" of the Suppression, including, of course, Clement XIV, 
be looked upon as a "defence and eulogy" of the Pope, and in no 
sense a "protest," must be left to the judgment of the reader. 

The ex-General concludes his "declarations and protests" by beg- 
ging and conjuring all who read them to "make them 'public 
throughout the world, as far as in them lies" thus wishing to put 
his sovereign lord and master, Clement, in the wrong before the 
whole of Christendom. 

Turning now to the second claim of the Jesuits as regards the 

(2) The Society "submitted absolutely" giving an example of 
"blind obedience." 

First as regards China. "The promulgation of the Brief (of 
Suppression) and the observance of all the technicalities connected 
with its enforcement was next to impossible in China, .and hence 
we find a letter of Fr. Bourgeois from Pekin to his friend Duprez 
in France, which bears the date May 15, 1775, announcing that 
the Brief is on its way. It had been issued two years previously. 
. . . Cretineau-Joly discovered another letter from an Italian lay- 
brother named Panzi, who writes eighteen months later than Bour- 
geois. It is dated November II, 1776. In it he says 'the mission- 
aries had been notified of the Bull of Suppression (he does not state 
how) nevertheless they live together in the same house y under the 
same roof y and eat at the same table . . . the Fathers Breach, 
confess, baptise, retain possession of their froferty just as before. 
. . . Thanks be to God our holy Mission is going on well. . . . 
I am determined to live in this Holy Mission until God wishes to 
take me to himself.' " 18 

One cannot, of course, blame the simple lay-brother for follow- 
ing the example of his Superiors in disregarding the Pope's Brief, 

18 Campbell, p. 629. 

52 The Jesuit "Enigma 

but what of the "absolute submission" of the Fathers? It would 
be hard to find a better example of the Jesuit enigma "gross dis- 
obedience that is holy docility." 

In Europe, in Prussia and in Russia, the Jesuits also gave an 
example which in their eyes alone can seem to be "absolute sub- 
mission" and "blind obedience." 

"When the Brief of Suppression was announced the Fathers felt 
'perfectly sure that, like Frederick 77, she (Catherine of Russia) 
would not permit it to be 'promulgated both because the Russian 
Church refused allegiance to Rome, and also because she had al- 
ready bound herself by a promise to protect them." 1? Knowing all 
this, Fr. Czerniewicz, the Jesuit Superior, wrote to "Her Sacred 
Imperial Majesty" a hypocritical letter, containing the following: 

"We Jesuits . . . who are the most faithful subjects of your 
Majesty, now prostrate before your august imperial throne, implore 
your Majesty by all that is most sacred to permit us to render prompt 
and public obedience to the authority which resides in the person of 
the Roman Sovereign Pontiff and to execute the edict he has sent 
us abolishing our Society. By condescending to have a public procla- 
mation made of the Brief of Suppression, your majesty will thus 
exercise your Royal Authority, and we by promptly obeying will 
show ourselves obedient both to your Majesty and to the Sovereign 
Pontiff who has ordered this proclamation." Of course Czernie- 
wicz, who was a personal friend of Catherine, knew quite well 
beforehand, as indeed Fr. Campbell admits, that his humble request 
would be refused. No doubt he had been to see her before he 
wrote this letter. 

However, having written it, he flattered himself that he had ful- 
filled the obligations of his vow, and had obeyed the Constitutions 
of the Society that bade him "bend all his forces to the practice 
of the virtue of obedience in the first place towards the Pope." 

"Not a few Pharisees," writes Fr. Campbell, "have reproached 
the Society for having accepted the protection of the Imperial 
Tigress." The reproach we wish to make against the Society is not 
for accepting such protection but for pretending to "submit abso- 
lutely" to the Pope, whereas in reality they disobeyed him and "sub- 
mitted absolutely" to Catherine. As regards accepting the protec- 
19 Campbell, pp. 644, 645. 


52 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

but what of the "absolute submission" of the Fathers? It would 
be hard to find a better example of the Jesuit enigma "gross dis- 
obedience that is holy docility." 

In Europe, in Prussia and in Russia, the Jesuits also gave an 
example which in their eyes alone can seem to be "absolute sub- 
mission" and "blind obedience." 

"When the Brief of Suppression was announced the Fathers felt 
'perfectly sure that, like Frederick II, she (Catherine of Russia) 
would not permit it to be promulgated both because the Russian 
Church refused allegiance to Rome, and also because she had al- 
ready bound herself by a promise to protect them." 19 Knowing all 
this, Fr. Czerniewicz, the Jesuit Superior, wrote to "Her Sacred 
Imperial Majesty" a hypocritical letter, containing the following: 

"We Jesuits . . . who are the most faithful subjects of your 
Majesty, now prostrate before your august imperial throne, implore 
your Majesty by all that is most sacred to permit us to render prompt 
and public obedience to the authority which resides in the person of 
the Roman Sovereign Pontiff and to execute the edict he has sent 
us abolishing our Society. By condescending to have a public procla- 
mation made of the Brief of Suppression, your majesty will thus 
exercise your Royal Authority, and we by promptly obeying will 
show ourselves obedient both to your Majesty and to the Sovereign 
Pontiff who has ordered this proclamation." Of course Czernie- 
wicz, who was a personal friend of Catherine, knew quite well 
beforehand, as indeed Fr. Campbell admits, that his humble request 
would be refused. No doubt he had been to see her before he 
wrote this letter. 

However, having written it, he flattered himself that he had ful- 
filled the obligations of his vow, and had obeyed the Constitutions 
of the Society that bade him "bend all his forces to the practice 
of the virtue of obedience in the first place towards the Pope." 

"Not a few Pharisees," writes Fr. Campbell, "have reproached 
the Society for having accepted the protection of the Imperial 
Tigress." The reproach we wish to make against the Society is not 
for accepting such protection but for pretending to "submit abso- 
lutely" to the Pope, whereas in reality they disobeyed him and "sub- 
mitted absolutely" to Catherine. As regards accepting the protec- 
19 Campbell, pp. 644, 645. 


The Jeswt Enigma 53 

tion of "a bold, bad woman," no one will find fault with the Order 
for so doing; many of their best friends were such, although Fr. 
Campbell 20 quotes the great French Jesuit, Pere de Ravignan, as 
saying, in regard to Mme. Du Barry, "Thank God the Society has 
never had such a protectress." 

The Society showed its gratitude to Catherine for saving them 
from the Pope. Jesuits strained every nerve to do her public honour 
and when she condescended to visit their college at Polotsk, "the 
college was splendidly illuminated in her honour" "both at her 
arrival and departure the rector celebrated her glory in an eftc 
poem." 21 

Meanwhile the Papal Nuncio Archette protested at the Jesuit 
disobedience to the Brief and described their evasion of it as "vain 
subterfuge." They made a pretence of sending a mission to the 
Pope to obtain sanction for their conduct and even went so far 
as to concoct documents, which were afterwards described by 
Theiner, the Vatican historian, as lies and falsifications. Fr. 
Pollen 22 tries to defend the action of the Russian Jesuits and to 
show that "their existence was legitimate or at least not illegitimate 
though positive approval in legal form did not come till . . . 
1 80 1." Pollen admits that even the Pope, Pius VI, who succeeded 
Clement, "was constrained to declare that he had not revoked the 
Brief of Suppression and that he regarded as an abuse anything 
done against it." 

If the existence of the Jesuits was neither legitimate nor 
illegitimate what was it? The plain man will continue to wonder, 
but probably he will refuse to regard the conduct of the Jesuits in 
Russia as an example of "absolute submission" and "blind obedi- 
ence" to the Pope. 

We come now to the third claim of the Jesuits mentioned above. 

(_2)The Society "defended and eulogised" Clement XIV. 

It is generally believed that the reason why Pius IX commissioned 
the learned Augustin Theiner to write the history of Clement XIV 
in 1850 was to vindicate the character of Clement, so grossly had 
it been blackened by Jesuit propaganda. In Theiner's history, how- 
ever, so much that was unfavourable to the Jesuits was revealed that 

20 P. 544. 21 Ibid,, p. 646. 22 Catholic Encyclopedia. 

54 The Jesuit TLnigma 

"the work was forbidden in the States of the Church." 28 The 
Jesuits in the meantime had gained a dominating influence over 
Pius IX. 

To return to Fr. Campbell we find that he gives very great 
praise to a certain Archbishop of Paris, Christopher de Beaumont." 
He speaks of him 24 as "the chief figure in France"; "a saint as well 
as a hero"; "every word he uttered was feared by the enemies of 
the Church" and so forth. This remarkable encomium of de 
Beaumont finds its explanation when Fr. Campbell quotes 25 the 
insolent and insulting letter of this "Saint" to Clement XIV, 
apropos of the Brief of Suppression. 

Of course the pious Jesuit regrets the necessity of quoting the 
letter . . . "it is unpleasant for a Jesuit to publish it on account 
of its tone, for the most 'profound affection and reverence for the 
Holy See is one of the ingrained and distinctive traits of the 

Was it really "unpleasant" for Campbell to quote de Beaumont 
as telling the Pope that his Brief was "an isolated, private and 
pernicious judgment which does no honour to the Tiara and is 
prejudicial to the glory of the Church?" 26 He quotes the "Saint's" 
sneer at Clement's Cardinals. "Your predecessors did not consider - 
worthy of the Purple those whom your Holiness seems to design 
for the glory of the Cardinalate." Perhaps de Beaumont had had 
hopes of a Cardinal's hat himself. Next de Beaumont adds: "By 
rejecting the brief and by an active resistance to it, our Clergy will 
transmit to posterity a splendid example of integrity and zeal for 
the Catholic faith." These last words might well have been written 
by Martin Luther. 

Fr. Campbell's way of "defending and eulogising" Clement takes 
the form of trying to show that he was mad. He quotes 27 many 
rumours to that effect. "His mind was unbalanced"; "He had lost 
his mind"; "I am haunted with the fear of going mad and ending 
like Clement"; "The poor Pope had exclaimed before he signed 
the Brief, 'This Suppression will kill me.' 'After it,' says Saint- 
Priest, 'he would pace his apartments in agony, crying: 'Mercy, 

28 Cf. Cath. Encyclopedia, Theiner. 24 P. . 

25 P. 588. 2<J P. S9o. 27 Ibid., Chap. xx. 

The Jesuit Enigma 55 

mercy! They forced me to do it.' However, at the last moment, 
his reason returned." 

Fr. Campbell, "defending and eulogising" Clement adds, 28 'The 
new Pope (Pius VI) was painfully conscious that an error had 
been committed by suppressing an Order without trial and without 
even condemnation." 

So far we have been considering the strange and enigmatical 
spectacle of the Jesuits, bound by vows to perfect obedience to the 
Pope, and boasting everywhere and at all times of that obedience, 
and yet, apparently with good faith, openly and grossly disobeying 
the most explicit mandates of the Holy See. 

An equally interesting phase of the Jesuit enigma next confronts 
us when we begin to examine into the boasted perfect discipline and 
good order of this "crack regiment" of the army of Christ. Per- 
haps the fairest way to examine into the quality of the discipline 
and order that has prevailed in the Society, is to study how the 
elections for Generals have been conducted, for it will be recog- 
nised that these elections are the most important functions in the 
Society, only those being allowed to take part in them who are 
the carefully chosen exemplars of learning, virtue, and the spirit 
of the Society. At the election of the General, besides Provincials, 
there are two representatives from each Province, who must be 
Professed Fathers, and who are chosen by ballot in each Province 
as the most worthy representatives. 

Now although there have been- only twenty-five such elections, 
there has been very serious irregularity and trouble in several of 
them, and again and again the Popes have had to interfere to 
restore order. In the early Society in particular there was disorder 
at almost every election, the source of the trouble being in many 
cases the persistent claim of the Spanish Jesuits to have a Spanish 
General. Even to the present day, at every election there is fear 
of what the Spanish contingent may do. 

The very first election, that of Ignatius himself, was not without 
some elements of irregularity. In the first ballot he received all 
the votes, but he refused to accept office and demanded a second 
ballot. At the second ballot a considerable percentage of the votes 
went to Fr. Faber, who was highly esteemed among the brethren, 

28 P. 608. 

56 The Jesuit Enigma 

and Ignatius must have known that if he himself was not to be the 
General, the office would be given to Faber. Nevertheless in the 
second ballot Ignatius* vote was a blank! He had refused to be 
General; he was unwilling to vote for the next best man; he would 
and he wouldn't; finally he accepted. 

When Ignatius died in 1556, the trouble already referred to 
arose over Lainez' seizure of authority. Paul IV was compelled 
to interfere in the dispute that arose, and he ruled, though his ruling 
was disobeyed, that Generals should be elected for only three years. 
Lainez was elected in 1558, and although he secured the rescinding 
of Paul's regulation, regarding the three years' time limit of 
Generals, he wanted to resign after three years! But it was in the 
hands of a very complacent and friendly Pope, Pius IV, that he 
placed his resignation, knowing that it would not be accepted. He, 
too, like Ignatius, "would and wouldn't." Borgia, the third Gen- 
eral, was elected normally and held on to office, but when he died 
(1572) there was tenfold trouble. Borgia had appointed Polanco, 
Ignatius' famous secretary, a Spaniard of Jewish origin, as Vicar- 
General, and his election was assured. Gregory XIII, however, 
did not want another Spanish General, so the Order having protested 
against Gregory's interference, elected a Belgian, Mercurian. 
When he died (1580) he nominated a fellow countryman, 
Manares, as Vicar-General. Manares was, unlike Ignatius, anxious 
to rule and he began to pull strings to secure his election. He 
bestowed a present on Fr. Toletus, S.J., a friend of the Pope. , 
This was found out and he was tried and found guilty of "ambi- 
tioning office." Then Acquaviva was elected. 

The Spanish Fathers were furious over this election of an Italian 
and with Philip IPs aid they tried to establish a separate Spanish 
Society. This was the motive of the "Spanish Rebellion" already 
referred to. Acquaviva died in 1615, believing that he had quashed 
all the internal disorder in the Society, but the next election, 29 showed 
that this was not the case. 

"The congregation convened after the death of Acquaviva, on 

November 5, 1615, and the majority of its members must have 

been astounded, to find the Spanish claim to the Generalship still 

advocated. . . . Mutio Vitelleschi, an Italian, however, was most 

29 Cf. Campbell, p. 269. 

The Jeswt Enigma 57 

in evidence at that time ... the possibility of his election, at this 
juncture, afforded a well-grounded hope of a glorious future for 
the Society. Nevertheless some of the Spanish delegates determined 
to defeat him, and with that in view they addressed themselves to 
the ambassadors of France and Spain, to enlist their aid . . . they 
approached the Pope himself and assured him that Vitelleschi was 
altogether unfit for the position. . . . The balloting took place on 
November the fifteenth, and Mutio was chosen by thirty-nine votes 
out of seventy-five. The margin was not a large one y and shows 
how nearly the conspirators had succeeded" It is interesting to 
notice how almost one-half of the most conspicuous and venerable 
members of the Society of Jesus at this date (1615) had to be 
dubbed by fellow Jesuits as "conspirators." 

In 1 66 1 a curious thing happened. The General, Goswin 
Nickel, was superseded by a Vicar-General, John Paul Oliva. 
"This departure from usage had been allowed with the approval of 
Pope Alexander VII." 80 Ranke, who regarded the incident as 
somewhat sinister, asserted that Nickel was "rude, discourteous 
and repulsive," and that he "was deposed from office by the General 
Congregation which explicitly declared that he had forfeited all 

Fr. Campbell declares 81 that Ranke is wrong in regarding the 
event "as a change in the Society's methods"! He admits that 
it was a "departure from usage," but he denies that it was "a 
change in the Society's methods." The Vicar's position was "not 
in conjunction with that of the retiring General ... so as to 
avoid government by two heads." In other words, the poor old 
General asked for a Vicar to assist him, and the Vicar was given 
all authority while Nickel was left without any. But this was 
not done on account of Nickel's "rudeness, discourtesy, or re- 
pulsiveness," for, explains Fr. Campbell, it is "inherently impos- 
sible" for a Jesuit General to be such! 

As regards the election of Thyrsus Gonzalez (1687), Campbell 
writes : 32 "It must have been with dismay that his brethren heard of 
his election as General by the thirteenth General Congregation. 
It appears certain that on the eve of his election the Pope (Innocent 
XI) expressed his opinion that Gonzalez was the most available 

so Campbell, p. 391. 31 P. 393- 32 P. 4*5- 

58. The Jesuit Enigma 

candidate." Soon "the Society was thrown into an uproar," 88 be- 
cause the new General published a book which attacked the common 
Jesuit doctrine of "probabilism." 

The first General Congregation held after the restoration of 
the Society (1820) was again a scene of intrigue; papal interfer- 
ence; ambitioning of office; and expulsions from the Society. This 
time Fr. Campbell has to use the word "conspirators" 84 against the 
party of Jesuits led by Fr. Petrucci, the Vicar-General, who was 
all but elected General, when a Cardinal, Consalvi, dragged in 
from without, "averted the wreck" of the Order. "Both Petrucci 
and Pietroboni were deposed, from their respective offices as Vicar 
and Provincialy and other disturbers were excelled from the 
Society" 8B Even the suppression had not exorcised the spirit of in- 
trigue from the Society! The old enigma of "internal trouble, 
dissension, and disorder that is the peace of a holy Family" had 

Later on in this volume I shall have to discuss the subject of 
Jesuit wealth, and the mode of rationalisation whereby they can 
reconcile riches with evangelical poverty. It will be sufficient here 
to quote 86 a famous letter written by John Sobieski to the Jesuit 
General Oliva: 

"I remark with great grief that the good name of the Society 
has much to suffer from your eagerness to increase its fortune 
without troubling yourselves about the rights of others. I feel 
bound therefore to warn the Jesuits here against their passion for 
wealth and domination, which are .only too evident in the Jesuits 
of other countries. Rectors seek to enrich their colleges in every 
way. It is their only thought." 

Fr. Campbell uses the argument 87 of "inherent impossibility" to 
discredit this letter. "It is impossible to imagine that he (Sobieski) 
ever uttered such a calumny against his most devoted friends." . . . 
"As Sobieski died in Fr. Vota's arms, it is not very likely that he 
ever regarded his affectionate friends as 'greedy and rapacious.' " 

If Sobieski's letter contained "calumnies" there might be some 
force in Fr. Campbell's argument, but was it calumnious? And 
as regards Sobieski's death in a Jesuit's arms, it was not perhaps 

83 P. 4l6. 34 p. 722. 86 p. 724. 

86 Campbell, p. 394. 87 P. 397. 

The Jesuit Enigma 59 

possible for the Polish hero to make any other choice. Men do not 
usually arrange their own death scenes with a nice consideration for 

I have said that the Jesuit enigma appears in the form of "astute 
and cunning diplomacy that is dovelike simplicity." Later on 
this point too will be copiously illustrated, for the moment it will 
be sufficient to allude to it briefly. 

Fr. Campbell glosses over the political activity of the Order as 
follows: 38 

"In those days there was an extraordinary amount of exaggerated 
confidence entertained by many of the dignitaries of the Church 
that the Jesuits had an especial aptitude for adjusting the politico- 
religious difficulties which were disturbing the peace of Europe." 
He gives, however, some instances of Jesuits who became whole- 
time diplomats and politicians. First as regards Fr. Antony Posse- 
vin: 89 "In 1577 ne was sent ^ a special legate of the Pope to John 
III of Sweden, and also to the courts of Bohemia and Bavaria to 
secure their support for John in the event of certain political com- 
plications. These political features made it very objectionable to 
the Jesuits because of their possible reaction on the whole Society. 
. . . Like his predecessor (Fr. Nicolai, S.J.), he did not appear 
in his clerical garb, nor even as the legate of the Pope . . . but he 
came as the ambassador extraordinary of the Empress of Germany. 
... In spite of this failure Possevin was then sent as legate to 
Russia, Lithuania, Moravia, Hungary, and in general to all the 
countries of the North ; while Philip II of Spain entrusted him with 
a confidential mission to the King of Sweden. In Bavaria he has 
to see the Duke; at Augsburg he makes arrangements for the Pope 
with the famous banking firm of Fugger. . . . From there he pro- 
ceeded to Prague to deliver a message to the Emperor; and at Vilna 
he conferred with Bathori, the King of Poland. . . ." etc. Posse- 
vin is sent to make peace between Poland and Russia (1581), and 
"is received with all the honours due to an ambassador." 

Sixty years later Fr. Antonio Vieira, S.J., outdoes Possevin. One 
paragraph from Fr. Campbell, 40 will give an idea of so-called 
"politico-religious" activities. 

"In the following year Vieira arrived from Brazil, and was not 

88 P. 119. 8B Cf. p. 121 seq. 40 P. 127. 

60 The Jesuit Enigma 

only made tutor to the Infante, Don Pedro, (of Portugal, 1641), 
as well as court preacher, but was appointed member of the Royal 
Council. In the last-named, office he reorganised the departments 
of the army and navy, gave a new impetus to commerce, urged the" 
foundation of a national bank, and the reorganisation of the 
Brazilian Trading Company, readjusted the taxation, curbed the 
Portuguese Inquisition, and was mainly instrumental in gaining 
the national victories of Elvas, Almeixal, Castello Rodrigo and 
Monies Claros." 

Fr. Campbell has no fault to find with such political activity, 
but when a century later he has to refer to political meddling by 
two Jesuits, Carboni and Moreira, which resulted in the promotion 
of the Duke de Pombal, who eventually turned the Jesuits out of 
Portugal, Fr. Campbell says, 41 "never was departure from the prin- 
ciples and rules of the religious state by meddling with things out- 
side the sphere of duty so terribly punished." ' 

One finds indeed that in the persons of Auger, Annat, Nithard, 
Petre, Parsons, Manares, Possevin, Vieira, and a host of others, the 
Jesuits were deeply involved in politics, and their diplomacy was 
in the eyes of even friendly historians not unfrequently astute and, 
cunning. It has been customary in the Order to defend this inter- 
ference in politics on the grounds that the exigencies of religion 
demanded it, but Clement XIV, Paul V and other Popes took a 
very different view; Clement even accused them, as we shall see, 
of "rising up against the sovereigns who had admitted and welcomed 
them into their realms." 

* * 

"The allegation that Jesuits were ever immensely rich is demon- 
strably a fable," writes Fr. Pollen, and Fr. Campbell tells us, 42 that 
"the Jesuits have laid before the public the inventories of their 
possessions, and those plain and undisguised statements could easily 
be found if there was any serious desire to get at the truth." But 
where are these inventories to be found? And how is the "alle- 
gation" that the Jesuits were at times "immensely rich" shown to 
be a fable? For twenty years I belonged to the Irish Province of 
the Order, and although naturally interested in the matter, I could 
never find out what the wealth of the Province was, save that I 

41 P. 43i. 42 P. 349. 

The Jesuit Enigma 61 

saw that it possessed several valuable estates. I never came across 
any of Fr. Campbell's "plain and undisguised inventories." 

Fr. Campbell, referring to the expulsion from Spain in 1767, 
writes: 43 "It was a magnificent stroke of organised work and inci- 
dentally very profitable to the government for at one and the same 
moment it came into possession of 158 Jesuit houses, all of con- 
siderable value as real estate and some of them magnificent in their 
equipment. How much was added to the Spanish Treasury on that 
eventful morning y we have no means of computing" Doubtless 
there was no means of computing this wealth because the "plain 
and undisguised inventories" were not forthcoming. 

When Jesuit historians reveal so many discrepancies between 
principles and practice in the Order, can one entirely blame the 
blunt and bigoted Carlyle for exclaiming: "Where you meet a man 
believing in the salutary nature of falsehoods, or the divine authority 
of things doubtful, and fancying that to serve the Good Cause 
he must call the Devil to his aid, there is a follower of Un-saint 

48 P. 522. 



ON July 31, 1548, a sallow- faced, deep-eyed Spanish priest 
limped along the sultry streets of Rome clutching in his hand a 
parchment, sealed with the papal seal. It was a document fated 
to change the destinies of kings and princes, and to prove the foun- 
dation stone on which was built an organisation more potent for 
good and evil than any other organisation of men that the Western 
world has ever seen. It was the Brief, Pastoralis Officll Cura y by 
which Paul III gave the Church's approval to the "Spiritual Exer- 
cises" of Ignatius Loyola. "Certain Spiritual Instructions or 
Exercises," the Brief stated, "drawn from Holy Scripture and the 
experience of spiritual life, and reduced to a method excellently 
adapted to move to piety the minds of the faithful." These 
"Instructions" were contained in a little booklet of a few thousand 
words which had been submitted to Paul III "by his beloved son, 
the most noble Francis of Borgia, Duke of Gandia." 

Thus, through the instrumentality of Borgia, himself a Jesuit, 
there was launched upon the world one of the most remarkable 
books ever written, a book that has made and unmade more saints 
and sinners than any other book save perhaps the Bible; a book 
that for centuries was shrouded in mystery and spoken of with 
superstitious awe by multitudes of the faithful; a book that Jesuits 
claim to have been written from the dictation of the Blessed 
Virgin; and that a famous bishop of Belley described as "a golden 
book, of pure gold, more precious than gold or topaz." It was 
this book, not the virtue of Ignatius or the genius of his followers, 
which made the Jesuit Order. Not only was it the training ground 
of Jesuits but it was the great hook by which they caught their fish 
and the magical wand which they used to work their marvels. 
Through it the Jesuits brought about revolutionary changes in 

Catholic asceticism and established their reputation as spiritual 


The Book That Made the Jesuits 63 

directors. It voiced a protest against the easy-going spiritual ways 
of former days and introduced an atmosphere of hustling and 
competition into religion. Its virtues were so loudly proclaimed, 
and its strangeness was so marked that monks of the old school 
like Melchior Cano shook their heads over "these novelties in 
religion." But the Jesuits continued to chant its praises far and 
wide, and although they did not, like Luther, nail up in public their 
spiritual theses, in the course of time the symbol of the "Exercises," 
the little examen beads, has hung on the breasts of more nuns 
and priests than there were stones in the church of Wittenberg. 

The Sforitual Exercises, like all things Jesuit, has come in for 
too much praise and too much blame. Janssen, the historian, called 
it a "first-class psychological masterpiece," and Laffite, the Posi- 
tivist of the College de France, spoke of it as "a real masterpiece 
of political and moral wisdom." Huysmans compared the book to 
"a Japanese culture of counterfeited dwarfish trees," and Prof. 
James taught that it developed monoideistic hysteria. Abbe Guetee 
sums up the various criticisms that have been made by saying, 
"there are people who consider this book a masterpiece and others 
find it but very ordinary." It is not a book to be judged from the 
mere reading of it. Like other manuals that lay down certain 
exercises to be performed, a fair criticism cannot be given unless the 
directions are carried out loyally and the exercises judged on the 
effects they produce. 

Although Paul III had in his Brief "exhorted very much in the 
Lord all and each of Christ's faithful of both sexes, wheresoever 
situated, to use with a devout good-will these so pious instructions 
and exercises and by them be taught," he ordained that "they should 
not be printed . . . without the consent of the same Ignatius or 
his successors, under pain of excommunication and of 500 ducats 
fine to be applied to works of piety." Thus the Jesuits were given 
a monopoly of their new spiritual invention, and to render this 
monopoly more secure for them Paul commanded all bishops and 
church dignitaries to assist each and every Jesuit so that "they may 
peacefully have and enjoy the said concession and approbation . . . 
against molestation of all kinds." If necessary "the help of the 
secular arm" might be invoked to secure their rights, and "censures 
and punishments" of an ecclesiastical kind were, if required, to be 

64 The Jesuit Enigma 

fulminated on their behalf. All which precautions strike one as 
strange in these days when there is little danger of "spiritual 
fruits" being robbed. 

Within a week of the reception of the Brief, on August 8, 1548, 
Ignatius printed a first edition, but it was carefully marked "Ad 
usum nostrorum" ("for the use of Ours"}. In the advertisement 
it was stated that "it was not printed with the intention of being 
spread abroad among the people in general ... all the copies have 
been placed in the Company's power, for its own use, as we have 
saidj so that they can neither be sold nor printed anywhere." And 
Jesuits were sternly forbidden to give or to lend the book to externs. 
It was to be a secret book, a mystery book, a something so special 
and miraculous that only the favoured ones were to be privileged 
to learn its contents, and then only through the absolutely essential 
medium of a Jesuit Director who should explain the mysteries it 
contained without however actually showing the book. 

All this secrecy and reservation seems inconsistent with the in- 
junction of Paul III that "all and each of Christ's faithful of 
both sexes wheresoever situated" were to use the book. But Ignatius 
saw, with remarkable foresight, the advantage to be gained by 
holding back the book, and arousing a keen hunger for it. He 
knew it would have been a "best seller" had it been placed on the 
market. But he was aiming at something more than immediate 
profit. He was aiming at putting in the hands of the Order some- 
thing which would prove to be an investment of permanent value; 
something which would prove to be a source of untold power. And 
his judgment was sound. Had the Spiritual Exercises been 
published at once and made available for all the world as the 
Pope evidently intended, the Jesuit Order would not have survived 
a century. 

The plea that "only a Jesuit can correctly explain (or give) the 
'Exercises' " is, of course, put forward by the Order, to justify their 
monopoly. But what is the value of such a plea? I have made 
the "Exercises" very many times. On two occasions I made them 
for thirty days. On about twenty occasions I made them for eight 
days, and several times I made the "three-day" form of the "Exer- 
cises." And yet I must honestly say that only .once or twice were 
they well explained. In general, exceedingly few Jesuits take the 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 65 

trouble to study the "Exercises" carefully and to explain them 
clearly. I feel quite convinced that Dominicans or Franciscans 
could, if they cared to do so, give the "Exercises" just as well as 
Jesuits. Again it may be pointed out that one has reason to suspect 
that there must be something irreconcilable with the New Testament 
in the doctrine contained in the "Exercises," if ordinary Catholic 
priests cannot be trusted to explain them satisfactorily. 

What then is the motive of the plea that "only a Jesuit can give 
the 'Exercises' correctly"? The motive lies in the fact that 
Ignatius saw that the "Exercises" would prove to be a fruitful 
source of recruits to Religious Life, and naturally he wished to 
secure such recruits for his own Order. In the Directory, con- 
taining instructions as to the manner of giving the "Exercises" we 
read: 1 "It is not desirable to advise everybody to shut himself up 
to take the Exercises. ... He who begins them ought to be 
educated or capable, free and fit for the Company. ... If he is 
apt but not disposed to take the Exercises, aid him with familiar 
conversations, but cautiously so that he does not suspect there is any 
craft; though it is the holy craft spoken of by Saint Paul to the 
Corinthians when he wrote 'being crafty I caught you with guile.' " 
Thus the mystery-book of the Jesuits was to serve not merely the 
purpose of teaching, as the sub-title states, how "to conquer oneself 
and regulate one's life, and avoid coming to decisions through the 
impulse of disordered passions/' but also it was to bring grist to the 
mill, in the shape of suitable candidates for the Order, and failing 
candidature, benefactions wherewith to carry on the good work. 
These latter purposes were served in a remarkably successful way 
by the Spiritual Exercises. 

Of the origin and sources of the "Spiritual Exercises," not much 
is known. Ignatius began to note down his spiritual experiences 
while still in his hermit's cave at Manresa. There, under the 
guidance* of John Chanones, of the Montserrat monastery, he 
studied the Exercises of the Spiritual Life, written by Garcia de 
Cisneros, a former Abbot of the monastery. This book contained 
twenty-one meditations to be made in twenty-one days, and it gave 
certain rules and directions that reappear in Ignatius' work. While 
at Manresa he also read The Life of Jesus Christ by Ludolph of 
1 Cf. Ignatius Loyola, p. 267. Van Dyke. 

66 The Jesuit JLnigma 

Saxony, 2 and very probably, another book entitled De Ascensionibus 
Sfiritualibus, by Gerard of Zutphen. Ignatius commenced but did 
not complete his MS. at Manresa. He continued to work on it for 
nearly twenty years. "I did not," he told Fr. Gonzalez, "compose 
the Exercises all at once. When anything resulting from my own 
experience seemed to me likely to be of use to others I took note 
of it." 

Though Ignatius was unquestionably much indebted to other 
spiritual writers, both as regards the meditations that he drew up; 
the order in which he placed them; the rules for prayer and so 
forth; the book as a whole bears the stamp of Ignatius on every 
page, and reflects very distinctly the peculiar psychology of its 
author. His chivalrous temperament; his jubilant pessimism; his 
devil obsession; his predilection for strategy; his absorption in tech- 
nique; his arithmomania; his cock-sure dogmatism, and extraordi- 
nary self-confidence; his delight in visualising; his practical view 
of things, all reappear in it, no less than his earnestness and nobility 
of purpose. The personal note is present when he deals with choos- 
ing a state of life, which caused him so much anxiety; when he 
treats of regulating food; when he warns exercitants against exces- 
sive austerity. Looked upon as a whole we can see in the "Exercises" 
a complete system; a whole story, beginning, middle and end; a 
habitable structure, roofed, windowed and doored; a navigable 
boat, with rudder, sails and oars; in fine a self-contained, leakless, 
flawless vessel apt for faith and salvation, such as the subconscious 
mind of Ignatius yearned for. It was his answer to the enigma of 
life, his contribution to the philosophy of the world, and in it he 
believed with his whole soul. 

The original copy of the Exercises, written in illiterate Castilian, 
is lost, but the original translation, "anttqua versio" of 1541, in 
very "barbarous" Latin, is still extant. 

Ignatius divides his book into four parts, each part being a week, 
though not necessarily of seven days. Each week consists of medita- 
tions, prayers, and rules for praying, as well as other rules about 
matters concerning the spiritual life. The first week, the purgative 
week, offers meditations on sin and hell, to which other meditations 
on death and judgment may be added at the discretion of the direc- 

2 Publ. at Alcala in 1502. 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 67 

tor. The purpose of the first week is to reform the sinner, "defor- 
mata reformarJ'} "searing upon the soul a hatred of sin by terror." 
Here we already see the general method of Ignatius, thus described 
by Fr. Debucy, S.J. 8 "To select some of the great truths of re- 
ligion, to drive them deeply into the heart, until man thoroughly 
impressed falls at the Lord's feet, crying like another Saul, 'Lord, 
what would you have me do?' such is the genius, the ascetic 
character of Ignatius." The second week is peculiarly Ignatian. It 
is the most important part of the Exercises. Besides giving medita- 
tions on the life of Christ, it contains the two famous contempla- 
tions on Christian Chivalry, "The Kingdom of Christ" and "Two 
Standards." During this week also the "Election" is made. 
Knowledge and love of Christ are the objects aimed at and the re- 
pentant sinner is "illuminated" and confirmed; "reformata con- 
firmare" being the watchword of the second week. 

The third part of the Exercises deals with the passion and suffer- 
ings of Christ. It is a development and continuation of the second 
part. Illumination is still sought for, and a deeper love of Christ, 
so that the repentant sinner already confirmed in his penitence may 
be still more strongly confirmed; "confirmata con fir-mare" 

The fourth and concluding part of the Exercises sounds a long- 
awaited note of joy and comfort. Christ's glory supplies the sub- 
ject of the meditations. Union with God is the object sought for, 
and the confirmed repentant sinner is now transformed into true 
sanctity; "confirmata trans formare" To sum up, in the words of 
Cardinal Wiseman, "a man is presumed to enter into the course of 
the Spiritual Exercises in the defilement of sin, under the bondage 
of every passion, wedded to every worldly and selfish affection, 
without a method or rule of life, and to come out of them restored 
to virtue, full of generous and noble thoughts, self-conquering and 
self-ruling, but not self -trusting, on the arduous path of Christian 
life. Black and unwholesome as the muddy water that is poured 
into the filter, were his affections and his soul; bright, sweet and 
healthful as the stream that issues from it, they come forth. He 
was as dross when cast into the furnace, and is pure gold when drawn 
from it." 

This testimonial of the learned Cardinal is not only eloquent but 
8 Catholic Encyclopedia. 

68 The Jesuit Enigma 

sincere, and it voices the faith placed in the efficacy of the Exercises 
by every loyal son of Ignatius. We cannot however resist the temp- 
tation of placing side by side with it the similar but ironical testi- 
mony of Macaulay. "The Spiritual Exercises," wrote Macaulay, "is 
a manual of conversion, proposing a plan of interior discipline, by 
means of which in neither more nor less than four weeks, the meta- 
morphosis of a sinner into a faithful servant of Christ is realised 
step by step." Perhaps, however, it is wrong to impute irony to 
Macaulay, for this quotation is given with evident pride by Fr. 
Debuchy, S.J., 4 as an example of the praise bestowed by non- 
Catholics on the Exercises. 

The Spiritual Exercises are to be made in silence and isolation. 
No one converses with the Exercitant save his confessor and the 
director of the retreat. Besides the various kinds of meditations 
alluded to there are sets of rules and forms of prayer to be studied 
and digested. There are twenty-three rules for the discerning of 
spirits; seven rules to be observed in the distribution of alms; six 
rules for the perception and distinguishing of scruples; eighteen rules 
for thinking with the orthodox Church; three methods of prayer; 
two forms of examination of conscience; three modes of humility; 
eight rules for rightly regulating one's food; as well as an immense 
number of notes, additions and instructions. The most minute 
directions are supplied the Exercitant as to times, places, postures, 
light, darkness, counting faults, preparing points for meditation and 
so forth. Absolutely nothing is left to chance, or to the free choice 
of the Exercitant. The faculties of the mind that are to be em- 
ployed at prayer and the order in which they are to be used are laid 
down. Everything is prearranged, even to the extent of the nature 
of the emotions and feelings that are to be evoked. The Exercitant 
is regarded as a piece of malleable spiritual matter which has to be 
refined and moulded. The Holy Spirit is counted upon to co-operate 
punctually and methodically. The Ignatian retreat is no time for 
the Holy Spirit "to breathe where He will." Ignatius seems to in- 
sist on His breathing according to schedule. "Throughout," wrote 
Cardinal Wiseman, "there is a manifest conviction of the adequacy 
of the means to the end in the writer's mind; there is nothing ex- 
perimental, nothing optional, nothing left to be discovered j but 
Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia. 

The "Book That Made the Jeswts 69 

every method is laid down as certaln y every result reckoned on as 


When on Retreat, one feels in a different world, far removed 
from human concerns, and in touch with a reality of vital im- 
portance. One feels the insecurity of life and its hollowness. One 
becomes afraid for oneself and for one's friends, and profoundly 
uncertain as to what one ought to do. One is profoundly disturbed. 
A change, a conversion, a sacrifice seems imperative. One becomes 
preoccupied about plans for the future, and if optimistic one pro- 
poses to oneself a stupendous and epoch-making amelioration. A 
sense of satisfaction is felt for so bravely facing the grave and awful 
thoughts concerning "the four last things," and one experiences a 
certain peace of soul in the purpose one has of amending and order- 
ing one's life. On the whole, howqver, the experience is disturbing 
and upsetting, and one wonders if in the end it tells for good or 

The "long retreat," of thirty days which Jesuit novices make 
soon after entering the Order, is beyond doubt a most harrowing 
enterprise. Novices are carefully "worked up" to a high pitch of 
excitement. They are told that their whole future lives depend 
upon how they make this thirty days' Retreat. They are not al- 
lowed to read or hear a single word about the "Exercises" before 
they begin, but it is suggested to them that these "Exercises" are the 
most holy and wonderful form of spirituality in the whole world 
and that if they correspond fully they will become saints. When 
the evening arrives on which the "long retreat" is to commence, 
and when the noviceship bell signals the, opening of the "long 
retreat," the novices enter the chapel trembling with excitement and 
pent-up emotion. The journey to .heaven has begun. Day by day 
as it propeeds the novices become more strained, more absorbed, more 
abnormal. They become so forgetful and absent-minded that they 
can do no external thing correctly. They walk about praying, with 
eyes glued to the ground, and thoughts forcibly focussed on God, 
conscious of God's presence everywhere. In their strange state of 
religious exaltation they crave for humiliations, suffering, and a 
closer union with God. They note down day by day, according to 
rule, an exact. report of their inner experiences; the fruits they are 
deriving from prayer; the consolation or desolation they are feeling; 

yo The Jesuit Enigma 

the "lights" that are breaking on their souls; the resolutions and pur- 
poses they are forming. These notes they must show to the master 
of novices. At night in the dormitory, or corridor in which the 
novices' sleeping-alcoves are placed, there are strange signs of rest- 
lessness. Voices are raised in self -accusation, or in plaintive calls 
for home, and few enjoy more than broken sleep at such times of 
intense spiritual strain. 

Apart from the external repression involved in a "long retreat," 
namely, silence, restricted exercise, public penances and so forth, the 
mental prayer insisted on is itself the most terrible of disciplines, 
especially for those unaccustomed to its practice. The "Exercises" 
are built upon mental prayer. The mind has first to "recall the 
points" of the meditation and visualise the scene depicted ("compo- 
sition of flace"). Then the mind has to reason over each of the 
points, making comparisons, and applications, deriving fruit, and 
gaining a clearer vision of the meaning of things. Then the will 
has to stir up love and repentance and purpose of amendment. The 
three faculties of the mind have thus to be kept constantly active j 
the memory, the intellect, and the will. And although the strain 
of one hour of such prayer on young novices is very severe, while 
on retreat they must pray mentally for an hour and a quarter, 
each of four times a day. In addition, they hear exhortations lasting 
in all a few hours, and read spiritual books of the driest kind. It 
is therefore not to be wondered at that many novices break down 
and become unnerved during retreats. Those however who do not 
break down are gripped by the retreat and make the most fervent 
resolutions to devote their whole lives to attaining perfection. 
Needless to say they come to see clearly that for them salvation lies 
in guarding their vocation to the Society. 

My personal experience of directing retreats, for as a Jesuit I 
directed a considerable number, led me to become very sceptical 
of the good that they produce. They stir up for a short time spiritual 
tension and excitement, during which period Exercitants, carried 
away by emotion, make many generous and noble resolutions. But 
when the retreat is past, and the tension and excitement over, these 
resolutions . fade into mere memories. As often as not a reaction to 
the repression of the retreat sets in and the Exercitant rebounds so 
much that, after a while, he finds himself farther away from God 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 71 

than ever. Added to this, most people are mentally and tempera- 
mentally incapable of the "faculty praying" that Ignatius insists 
upon. The mind inevitably wanders, unless strong emotional inter- 
est is aroused, and fretful attempts to drag back attention result in 
fatigue and discouragement. The Ignatian mental prayer results 
in futile efforts to conquer distractibility, to the loss of peaceful 
union of soul with God. Retreats are a cruel form of torture in 
the case, for instance, of simple country girls, just gathered into a 
convent, and clothed in the habits of nuns, and forced to spend 
several hours a day juggling with "mental faculties," about the 
existence of which they were hardly aware before the retreat 
started. Yet, the "Spiritual Exercises" are regarded as the great 
contribution of the Jesuits to religious life. How few realise the 
immense. wilderness of misery, depression and weariness of soul that 
they cause in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of poor religious, 
forced by rule to make them every year! 

The Sforitual Exercises is of course the Koran of the Jesuits 
and one dare not breathe a word of criticism of it in the 
Order. Its shortcomings however have been pointed out by mem- 
bers of the Benedictine Order. It introduces a spirit of military 
discipline and coercive thinking into prayer. It reduces praying to 
something not remotely unlike a cross-word puzzle. It raises con- 
scious thinking, goaded to activity by will efforts, above normal 
semi-conscious thinking. It aims at producing by force emotions 
and affections. It sounds the death-knell of simple, unsophisticated 
praying, and introduces an atmosphere of strain and tension. It 
leaves little or nothing for the Holy Spirit to do. It points out a 
way of spiritual progress that is almost independent of the Spirit. 
Of old it used to be thought that spiritual movements of holy joy 
or holy sorrow came from above. But hear Ignatius! "When he 
who is being exercised does not attain the affection sought, as grief 
or consolation, it is expedient every now and then to change the 
'plan of food and slee'p and other kinds of fenance" Spiritual 
exaltation was to be won by strategy! "The fourth is to set 
about the contemplation itself, now kneeling on the ground, arid 
lying on my face or on my back, now sitting or standing, and com- 
'posing myself in the way in which I may hope the more easily to 
attain what I desire" 

68 The Jesuit "Enigma 

sincere, and it voices the faith placed in the efficacy of the Exercises 
by every loyal son of Ignatius. We cannot however resist the temp- 
tation of placing side by side with it the similar but ironical testi- 
mony of Macaulay. "The Spiritual Exercises," wrote Macaulay, "is 
a manual of conversion, proposing a plan of interior discipline, by 
means of which In neither more nor less than four weeks, the meta- 
morphosis of a sinner into a faithful servant of Christ is realised 
step by step." Perhaps, however, it is wrong to impute irony to 
Macaulay, for this quotation is given with evident pride by Fr. 
Debuchy, S.J., 4 as an example of the praise bestowed by non- 
Catholics on the Exercises. 

The Spiritual Exercises are to be made in silence and isolation. 
No one converses with the Exercitant save his confessor and the 
director of the retreat. Besides the various kinds of meditations 
alluded to there are sets of rules and forms of prayer to be studied 
and digested. There are twenty-three rules for the discerning of 
spirits; seven rules to be observed in the distribution of alms; six 
rules for the perception and distinguishing of scruples; eighteen rules 
for thinking with the orthodox Church; three methods of prayer; 
two forms of examination of conscience; three modes of humility; 
eight rules for rightly regulating one's food; as well as an immense 
number of notes, additions and instructions. The most minute 
directions are supplied the Exercitant as to times, places, postures, 
light, darkness, counting faults, preparing points for meditation and 
so forth. Absolutely nothing is left to chance, or to the free choice 
of the Exercitant. The faculties of the mind that are to be em- 
ployed at prayer and the order in which they are to be used are laid 
down. Everything is prearranged, even to the extent of the nature 
of the emotions and feelings that are to be evoked. The Exercitant 
is regarded as a piece of malleable spiritual matter which has to be 
refined and moulded. The Holy Spirit is counted upon to co-operate 
punctually and methodically. The Ignatian retreat is no time for 
the Holy Spirit "to breathe where He will." Ignatius seems to in- 
sist on His breathing according to schedule. "Throughout," wrote 
Cardinal Wiseman, "there is a manifest conviction of the adequacy 
of the means to the end in the writer's mind; there is nothing ex- 
perimental, nothing optional, nothing left to be discovered} bub 
4>Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia. 

The Book That Made the Jeswts 69 

every method Is laid down as certain, every result reckoned on as 


When on Retreat, one feels in a different world, far removed 
from human concerns, and in touch with a reality of vital im- 
portance. One feels the insecurity of life and its hollowness. One 
becomes afraid for oneself and for one's friends, and profoundly 
uncertain as to what one ought to do. One is profoundly disturbed. 
A change, a conversion, a sacrifice seems imperative. One becomes 
preoccupied about plans for the future, and if optimistic one pro- 
poses to oneself a stupendous and epoch-making amelioration. A 
sense of satisfaction is felt for so bravely facing the grave and awful 
thoughts concerning "the four last things," and one experiences a 
certain peace of soul in the purpose one has of amending and order- 
ing one's life. On the whole, however, the experience is disturbing 
and upsetting, and one wonders if in the end it tells for good or 

The "long retreat," of thirty days which Jesuit novices make 
soon after entering the Order, is beyond doubt a most harrowing 
enterprise. Novices are carefully "worked up" to a high pitch of 
excitement. They are told that their whole future lives depend 
upon how they make this thirty days' Retreat. They are not al- 
lowed to read or hear a single word about the "Exercises" before 
they begin, but it is suggested to them that these "Exercises" are the 
most holy and wonderful form of spirituality in the whole world 
and that if they correspond fully they will become saints. When 
the evening arrives on which the "long retreat" is to commence, 
and when the noViceship bell signals the, opening of the "long 
retreat," the novices enter the chapel trembling with excitement and 
pent-up emotion. The journey to .heaven has begun. Day by day 
as it proceeds the novices become more strained, more absorbed, more 
abnormal. They become so forgetful and absent-minded that they 
can do no external thing correctly. They walk about praying, with 
eyes glued to the ground, and thoughts forcibly focussed on God, 
conscious of God's presence everywhere. In their strange state of 
religious exaltation they crave for humiliations, suffering, and a 
closer union with God. They note down day by day, according to 
rule, an exact report of their inner experiences; the fruits they are 
deriving from prayer; the consolation or desolation they are feeling; 

yo The Jesuit 'Enigma 

the "lights" that are breaking on their souls; the resolutions and pur- 
poses they are forming. These notes they must show to the master 
of novices. At night in the dormitory, or corridor in which the 
novices' sleeping-alcoves are placed, there are strange signs of rest- 
lessness. Voices are raised in self -accusation, or in plaintive calls 
for home, and few enjoy more than broken sleep at such times of 
intense spiritual strain. 

Apart from the external repression involved in a "long retreat," 
namely, silence, restricted exercise, public penances and so forth, the 
mental prayer insisted on is itself the most terrible of disciplines, 
especially for those unaccustomed to its practice. The "Exercises" 
are built upon mental prayer. The mind has first to "recall the 
points" of the meditation and visualise the scene depicted ^compo- 
sition of -place"). Then the mind has to reason over each of the 
points, making comparisons, and applications, deriving fruit, and 
gaining a clearer vision of the meaning of things. Then the will 
has to stir up love and repentance and purpose of amendment. The 
three faculties of the mind have thus to be kept constantly active; 
the memory, the intellect, and the will. And although the strain 
of one hour of such prayer on young novices is very severe, while 
on retreat they must pray mentally for an hour and a quarter, 
each of four times a day. In addition, they hear exhortations lasting 
in all a few hours, and read spiritual books of the driest kind. It 
is therefore not to be wondered at that many novices break down 
and become unnerved during retreats. Those however who do not 
break down are gripped by the retreat and make the most fervent 
resolutions to devote their whole lives to attaining perfection. 
Needless to say they come to see clearly that for them salvation lies 
in guarding their vocation to the Society. 

My personal experience of directing retreats, for as a Jesuit I 
directed a considerable number, led me to become very sceptical 
of the good that they produce. They stir up for a short time spiritual 
tension and excitement, during which period Exercitants, carried 
away by emotion, make many generous and noble resolutions. But 
when the retreat is past, and the tension and excitement over, these 
resolutions. fade into mere memories. As often as not a reaction to 
the repression of the retreat sets in and the Exercitant rebounds so 
much that, after a while, he finds himself farther away from God 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 71 

than ever. Added to this, most people are mentally and tempera- 
mentally incapable of the "faculty praying" that Ignatius insists 
upon. The mind inevitably wanders, unless strong emotional inter- 
est is aroused, and fretful attempts to drag back attention result in 
fatigue and discouragement. The Ignatian mental prayer results 
in futile efforts to conquer distractibility, to the loss of peaceful 
union of soul with God. Retreats are a cruel form of torture in 
the case, for instance, of simple country girls, just gathered into a 
convent, and clothed in the habits of nuns, and forced to spend 
several hours a day juggling with "mental faculties," about the 
existence of which they were hardly aware before the retreat 
started. Yet, the "Spiritual Exercises" are regarded as the great 
contribution of the Jesuits to religious life. How few realise the 
immense. wilderness of misery, depression and weariness of soul that 
they cause in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of poor religious, 
forced by rule to make them every year! 

The Sforitual Exercises is of course the Koran of the Jesuits 
and one dare not breathe a word of criticism of it in the 
Order. Its shortcomings however have been pointed out by mem- 
bers of the Benedictine Order. It introduces a spirit of military 
discipline and coercive thinking into, prayer. It reduces praying to 
something not remotely unlike a cross-word puzzle. It raises con- 
scious thinking, goaded to activity by will efforts, above normal 
semi-conscious thinking. It aims at producing by force emotions 
and affections. It sounds the death-knell of simple, unsophisticated 
praying, and introduces an atmosphere of strain and tension. It 
leaves little or nothing for the Holy Spirit to do. It points out a 
way of spiritual progress that is almost independent of the Spirit. 
Of old it used to be thought that spiritual movements of holy joy 
or holy sorrow came from above. But hear Ignatius! "When he 
who is being exercised does not attain the affection sought, as grief 
or consolation, it is expedient every now and then to change the 
'plan of food- and sleep and other kinds of penance" Spiritual 
exaltation was to be won by strategy! "The fourth is to set 
about the contemplation itself, now kneeling on the ground, arid 
lying on my face or on my back, now sitting or standing, and com- 
posing myself in the way in which I may hope the more easily to 
attain what I desire" 

72 The Jesuit JLmgma 

Turning now to, what I may call the "technique" of the 
"Spiritual Exercises," we find that Ignatius was exceedingly pre- 
occupied with external details. 

"As to the time of the Exercises it must be so distributed that the 
first may be performed at midnight; the second in the morning, as 
soon as we are up; the third before or after the sacrifice of Mass, 
before we have taken food; the fourth about the hour of vespers; 
the fifth in the hour before supper." Before going to sleep the 
Exercitant must for a few moments run over the points of the 
coming meditation, and he must think of the time of rising. When 
he awakens he must at once fill his mind with pious thoughts in har- 
mony with the exercise he is about to make. "Engaged therefore 
with these or other thoughts according to the nature of things to 
be meditated on let me put on my clothes . . . while yet separated 
by one or two 'paces from the 'place of my coming meditation . . . I 
think of my lord Jesus as 'present and seeing what I am about to do, 
to whom I must exhibit reverence with an humble gesture . . . and 
set about the contemplation itself y now kneeling on the ground and 
lying on my face or on my back," etc. Evidently Ignatius was 
deeply concerned about posture as a concomitant of inner spiritual 
activity. The appropriate physical position had to be found and 
when found held. "If on my knees or in any other posture I obtain 
what I wish, I seek nothing further." The appropriate emotion 
had by all means to be procured. "I shall strive earnestly to stir 
myself up to sorrow and grief." In the contemplation on "Sin," 
the Exercitant is "to break forth into exclamations from a vehement 
commotion of feelings." When he falls into some fault he makes 
a sign or gesture. "As often as one has been guilty of that kind of 
sin or fault (against which one has resolved), putting his hand to his 
breast let him grieve for his fall which may be done, even when 
others are present, without their perceiving it." Gestures, move- 
ments and posture, evidently meant much to Ignatius. 

Next we come to Ignatian technique of visualising and forming 
"a composition of place." "In every meditation or contemplation 
about a bodily thing, as for example about Christ, we must form, 
according to a certain imaginary vision, a bodily place representing 
what we contemplate, in which we may find Christ Jesus, or the 
Virgin Mary, and the other things which concern the subject of 

The "Book That Made the Jesuits 73 

our Contemplation." He gives examples at times of these "Compo- 
sitions of Place." Thus in the Meditation on the Incarnation, "an 
imaginary vision as of the whole circuit of the earth, inhabited by 
so many different nations, lies open before the eyes. Then in one 
particular part of the world let the cottage of the Virgin situated at 
Nazareth, ^ in the province of Galilee, be beheld." Ignatius who 
loved the concrete, to taste, touch, smell, and sense things, was quite 
clearly gifted with exceptional powers of visualising and projecting 
his own imagery. His many visions of shapes, and lights, and beings, 
as recounted in his autobiography, prove that he possessed this gift. 
He is constantly urging the Exercitant to employ "sensing" of the 
imaginary, "to apply the five senses," but to this we shall return 

In the "Three Methods of Prayer" technique plays again a big 
role. Here for instance is an example of the kind of directions 
given. "The Second Method of Prayer is to kneel or sit (accord- 
ing to the state of the body and the devotion of the mind) and with 
the eyes either closed or fixed down to one place, and not moved to 
and fro, to say the Lord's prayer from the beginning, and on the 
first word, that is on 'Pater,' to fix the meditation so long as 
various significations, likenesses, spiritual tastes, and other devout 
motions concerning that word shall present themselves; and in like 
manner we shall do successively with each word of the same or 
another prayer." In the above direction there reappears the Igna- 
tian preoccupation about posture, sitting or kneeling, the eyes being 
either closed or fixed, "according to the state of the body and the 
devotion of the mind." 

The third form of prayer is a departure in the direction of 
Indian rhythmic breathing. "Between the several times of drawing 
breath, I pronounce the several words of the Lord's or some other 
prayer." The timing and counting of spiritual things enters largely 
into the Spiritual Exercises. In the "Particular Examen," a form 
of scrutiny of conscience, rules for the counting and bookkeeping 
of faults are laid down, and daily and weekly audits are imposed. 
"The second sifting (after the hour of supper) will have to be 
made by running through in like manner the several hours which 
have elapsed from the former to the present examination; and in 
the same way remembering and enumerating the times he has been 

74 ^ e Jesuit Enigma 

in fault, he will mark the same number of points in the second line 
of a figure like the one below ... at night having counted and 
compared . . . comparing together the examinations of the second 
and the preceding day . . . and in like manner the examinations of 
the two weeks . . ." etc. These phrases will, however unintelli- 
gible to the reader, convey the idea of statistics and bookkeeping, in 
the spiritual method of Ignatius. Lest it be thought that I have 
over-emphasised this mathematical and technical aspect of the Exer- 
cises, let me quote a page of the Exercises which is found in the 
second contemplation of the Passion of Christ. 

"At the same time these four things must be noted. First, after 
the preparatory prayer, with the three preludes of this second exer- 
cise, we must proceed in the same method and order through the 
points and through the colloquy, as was performed in the preceding 
contemplation concerning the Supper. There will have, to be added 
also, about the time of Mass and Vespers, two repetitions of each 
of these two contemplations, and before supper we shall apply the 
five senses, prefixing always the preparatory prayer with the three 
preludes, suitable to the matter offered, as has been sufficiently 
described in the second week." 

Is it unfair to take from its context a passage of this kind in order 
to emphasise the exceedingly technical and even mathematical na- 
ture of the Exercises? It may be, but after all one has a right to 
put to the severest test the oft repeated claim of the Jesuits that the 
Exercises are inspired. Let us quote, apropos of this claim, a passage 
from an Official Jesuit publication of the Belgian Province, the 
Imago Primi Sceculi (The Mirror of the First Century of the 
Society), written in 1640 to celebrate the first centenary of the 

"Ignatius clearly wrote them (the Exercises), but they were dic- 
tated to him by the Virgin. ... It was not for nothing that dur- 
ing the whole period of their composition she frequently appeared to 
him, and her light illuminated his spirit even more than his eyes." 
Even in the recent Catholic Encyclopedia the Jesuit writer of the 
article on the Exercises makes a claim for "inspiration." "We must 
therefore consider the revelation of the Exercises, not as a com- 
pletely supernatural manifestation of all the truths contained in the 
work, but as a kind of inspiration or special divine assistance, which 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 75 

prevented all essential error, and suggested many thoughts useful 
for the salvation of the author and of readers of all times." He also 
refers sympathetically to the revelation made in 1600 to Fr. Escobar, 
adding "this tradition has often been symbolised by painters, who 
represent Ignatius writing from the Blessed Virgin's dictation." So 
even to this day Jesuits cling to their faith in the "revelation" or 
"inspiration" of the Exercises. Furthermore, Jesuits are proud of 
the minute technique of the Exercises, and Fr. Debuchy, S.J., 
writes. "Nothing is left to chance (in the Exercises) . . . this art 
of proportioning spiritual instructions to the powers of the soul and 
to divine grace was entirely new, at least, under the precise and 
methodic form given to it by St. Ignatius." 

Cardinal Wiseman and other writers favourable to the Exercises, 
always emphasise the fact that it is the reason that is mainly called 
into play; "the entire work is performed by -principles , not by emo- 
tions which pass away," and "whatever use is made of the feelings 
in the course of the Exercises is but as a scaffolding" (Wiseman). 
This claim must not be accepted too readily. There seem to be very 
serious grounds for thinking that it was largely through the feelings 
and emotions that Ignatius hoped to secure his results. Let us take 
for instance Ignatius' meditation on ''Hell." 

As a composition of place the Exercitant is "to set before his 
eyes in imagination the length, breadth and depth of Hell," and 
having prayed for "an intimate perception of the punishments which 
the damned undergo" to pursue the points that follow. 
. "The first point is to see by the imagination the vast fires of Hell 
and the souls enclosed in certain fiery bodies, as it were in dungeons. 

"The second, to hear in imagination the lamentations, the howl- 
ings, the exclamations and the blasphemies against Christ and His 
saints thence breaking forth. 

"The third, to perceive by the smell of the imagination, the smoke, 
the brimstone and the stench of a kind of sink of filth and putre- 

"The fourth, to taste in like manner those most bitter things, as 
the tears, the rottenness, and the worm of conscience. 

"The fifth, to touch in a manner those fires by the touch of which 
the souls themselves are burned." 

It must not be overlooked that the Exercitant is supposed to feel 

76 The Jesuit TLnigma 

sensibly not merely to conceive mentally. Thus, in a meditation 
on the Passion, he is told "to ask for grief, mourning, anxiety and 
the other inward pains of the kind, that he may suffer together with 
Christ suffering" Sometimes however there is question of a mysti- 
cal sense, not belonging to the sensibility of the external senses, as 
when the Exercitant is told "by cm inward touch to handle and kiss 
the garments, places, footsteps and other things connected with such 
persons (Christ and Mary), whence he may derive a greater in- 
crease of devotion or other spiritual good." . . . Ignatius not infre- 
quently calls for the exercise of this inner sense, as in "perceiving 
by a certain inward taste or smell how great is the sweetness and 
delightfulness of the soul imbued with the divine gifts and virtues." 
One has reason to doubt whether inexperienced and possibly hitherto 
irreligious Exercitants can perform such spiritual feats at the in- 
junction of the Director. 

Again and again Ignatius enjoins the stirring up of this or that 
kind of feeling. When terrifying or sorrowful subjects are to be 
meditated upon, light is to be cut off, and the meditations are to be 
made in darkness. On the other hand, when the joyful meditations 
of the fourth week are in progress, "I make use of the advantage 
of light and sky which shall offer itself; as in the time of spring, 
the sight of the green herbs and flowers, or the agreeableness of a 
sunny place ; in the winter the welcome heat of the sun or of a fire ; 
and so concerning the other suitable satisfactions of the body and 
mind." Fr. Roothan, a Jesuit General, in his commentary upon 
this passage grimly adds: "Far be it from us a certain other feeling 
of joy . . . that the labour of a long journey (the Exercises), is 
now drawing to a close." 

St. Ignatius evidently expected a great chaos of feeling during 
the Retreat. "He who gives the Exercises, if he perceives that the 
one who receives them undergoes no spiritual commotions of the 
mlnd t such as are consolations or sadnesses; nor any agitations of 
different spirits; ought carefully to enquire If he 'performs the Exer- 
cises themselves at the prescribed times, and in what way" These 
"agitations" are attributed by Ignatius to interference on the part of 
spirits, and he took it as a very bad sign if no such interference oc- 
curred. "It is the property of every good angel to pour into the 
mind true spiritual joy, which they cause by taking away all that 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 77 

sadness and disturbance of mind which the demon has thrown in." 
About the exits and entrances of the spirits, good and evil, and the 
signs that mark their presence, Ignatius treats in his rules for the 
"Discernment of Spirits." In the most definite, dogmatic, and 
matter of fact way, he describes subtle mystical experiences, and dis- 
plays the most profound faith in the existence of diabolical wiles to 
ensnare the unwary soul, and the counter-plotting of angelical 
strategists. "Consolatory movements from heaven," such as give 
testimony to the perfection contained in cutting down food to sub- 
temperance standard (cf. "Rules for regulating Food"), are hard 
facts for Ignatius, as is the "inward taste or smell of the sweetness 
of the soul." 

One of the difficulties that confronts the Exercitant who is a 
tyro in spiritual things is to distinguish between consolatory move- 
ments that are from above (of the spirit), and sensible movements 
that belong rather to the perception of bodily well-being. To "ap- 
ply the senses" to intangible things such as the footprints of Christ 
(kissing them), is likewise a matter of great difficulty, and one has 
reason to speculate upon the amount of self-deception involved in 
such "Spiritual Exercises." 

Were one to put succinctly the difference between the asceticism 
of Christ and the asceticism of Ignatius, one would say that the 
former was simple and the latter sophisticated. The religion of 
Christ is to conquer the world by LOVE, that of Ignatius, to con- 
quer by STRATEGY. Christ was little preoccupied with organisa- 
tion, he relied on the truth and beauty of His doctrine. For Ignatius 
organisation was all-important, and doctrines were to be forced on 
folk at the point of a syllogism. Ignatius was not however without a 
keen sense of the military grandeur of the warfare he was waging 
for Christ, and in some meditations he gives free scope to his exalted 
idea of Christian Chivalry. The warfare between the powers of 
good and the powers of evil was very real to Ignatius, and one of 
the secrets of the Exercises is the awakening, through reiterated 
suggestion, of a certain active interest in this gigantic war, so that 
the Exercitant may desire to take up arms and join in. Ignatius' 
age was not an age of pacifists. It was a fighting age, and every 
one was a potential soldier. A "Call to Arms" was something that 
awakened deep emotions in those days, and in the course of the 

78 The Jesuit Enigma 

Exercises Ignatius issues a "Call to Arms" on behalf of Christ. 
This is done in the picturesque meditations of the Second Week, 
called the "Kingdom of Christ," and "Two Standards." 

The Devil is raised to the dignity of a monarch on his throne, 
"a chair of fire and smoke," and he, "captain of the wicked and 
God's enemies," is "horrible in figure and terrible in countenance," 
but he commands "a countless number of demons whom he disperses 
through the whole world in order to do mischief; no cities or places; 
no kinds of persons being left free." He, the Devil, "is accustomed 
also to imitate some leader of war who desiring to take and plunder 
a citadel which he has besieged, having first ascertained the nature 
and strength of the place, attacks the weaker part." He is full of 
strategy. He stirs up his soldiers "to seize and secure (sinners) in 
snares and chains." He presents "allurements of the flesh and senses 
that he may keep them full of sin." He works on the soul infusing 
trouble and depression. "The malignant spirit suggests feelings 
of molestation, scruples, sadnesses, false reasonings and other such 
disturbances by which to impede advance." He disguises himself. 
"It is the custom of the malignant spirit to transfigure himself into 
an angel of light, and having known the pious desires of the soul, 
first to second them, and then soon after to entice her to his own 
perverse wishes." His camp is in "the country round Babylon," and 
his purpose is to war down Christ. 

Christ, the King, "Chief -General of all the good people" has his 
camp "in a most extensive plain round Jerusalem," He is "very 
beautiful in form and in appearance supremely worthy of love." 
He sends his disciples and other ministers through the whole world 
to impart His sacred and saving doctrine to every race, state, and 
condition of men. He too employs strategy, for He bids his fol- 
lowers to "lead men to a spiritual affection of poverty" and then to 
higher things. His call (given in the first meditation of the second 
week) is as follows: "I propose to subject to My power all the 
countries of the unbelievers. Whosoever, therefore, chooses to 
follow Me, let him be prepared to use no other food, clothing, or 
other things than he sees Me using.- He must also persevere in the 
same labours, watchings and other difficulties with Me, that each 
may partake of the felicity in proportion as he shall have been a 
companion of the labours and troubles." 

The Book That Made the Jeswts 79 

In the paragraph which follows we find clear evidence of the 
chivalrous ideas of Ignatius. "Consider what His faithful subjects 
ought to answer this most loving and liberal King, and how promptly 
to offer themselves prepared for all His will. And on the other 
hand if any one did not hearken, of how great reproach he would 
be worthy among all men, and how worthless a soldier he would 
have to be accounted." "There will be no one of a sound mind 
who will not most eagerly offer and dedicate himself entire to the 
service of Christ." 

When Ignatius refers to the Trinity his notions of thrones and 
kingship also colour his thoughts. "Next must be contemplated the 
three Divine Persons on their royal throne, looking upon all the 
races of men, living as blind on the surface" of the earth, and 
descending into Hell." 

Although the blare of trumpets is not heard, nor the steady beat 
of marching soldiers' feet, nor the roar of guns, we have in the 
Exercises, especially those of the second week, all the tension and 
excitement of war; a war to the death, in which there is heard the 
triumphant shouts of the victors and the anguished cries of the slain, 
and in which there is strategy and counter-strategy; manoeuvre 
and counter-manoeuvre. Angels and devils clash swords within the 
souls of men and rewards and punishments, glory and shame, are 
outcomes of the strife. 

. One cannot find fault with Ignatius for reflecting in his book the 
mode of thinking of his age. Indeed anything else would be im- 
possible, even in an "inspired" manuscript. The Ptolemaic system; 
the divine right of kings; chivalry and the nobility of organised 
bloodshed; devil-phobia; intolerance; religious pessimism; and so 
forth, representing the ideas of his times, all enter into the Exercises 
and inevitably very much narrow and limit their scope and applica- 
tion as an instrument of asceticism. But, to the writer, what seems 
to mar the Exercises more than anything else, is its fundamental doc- 
trine that strategy must be used In religion, and that victory is to be 
won less by love, as Christ taught, than by craft and guile. 

There is another feature of the asceticism of the Exercises to 
which reference must be made. It is the doctrine of "indifferent- 
ism." It implies complete detachment, not only from what is evil, 
but also from what is in itself harmless or indifferent. One must 

8o The Jesuit TLnigma 

grow cold to all things: love of friends, country, parents; particular 
interests; kinds of learning; and "with a fixed mind be equally in- 
clined toward riches or poverty, honour or ignominy, shortness or 
length of life." In fine the ideal put forward is that of a soldier 
held by no tie of affection, burthened by no choice or fancy, utterly 
detached from all natural desire, having no preference, "inclining 
to neither side as regards embracing or rejecting the thing in ques- 
tion, but rather standing in a kind of middle interval or equilibrium, 
the mind meanwhile being prepared to follow at once and altogether 
that course which shall (ultimately) be perceived to be more con- 
ducive to the divine glory and his own salvation." Indifferentism 
entails such an absorption in the final end, the Will of God, that it 
kills off all attachments to secondary ends or means (the good 
things of life included), and engenders necessarily an attitude of 
aloofness, coldness and ennui. The beautiful things that grow; all 
that science has to say thereon; human love with its impulses; 
.music, dance and song; the conquering of nature;' art and dreams, 
have no value in themselves, and must be bartered for whatever 
helps piety. 

"But the other things which are placed on the earth," explains 
Ignatius, "were created for man's sake, that they might assist him in 
pursuing the end of his creation. Whence it follows that they are 
to be used or abstained from in proportion as they profit or hinder 
him in pursuing that end. Wherefore we ought to be indifferent 
toward all created things." 

The Exercises are the spiritual food on which Jesuits are nur- 
tured. They are the meat and drink on which their souls are fed 
during long years, and hence it is not to be wondered at that the two 
chief features of the asceticism of the Exercises, "strategy in spirit- 
ual things," and "indifferentism" leading to cold aloofness, should 
be so noticeable in Jesuits as to be regarded as distinctly characteristic 
of them. 

There is an element of religious apologetics in the Exercises which 
render them less acceptable to non-Catholics. This is most marked 
in the rules given "For thinking with the Orthodox Church," in 
which occurs Ignatius' profession of faith in Infallibility. "That 
we may in all things attain the truth we ought ever to hold it as a 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 81 

fixed principle, that what I see white, I believe to be black, if the 
Hierarchical Church so define it to be." 

Among these rules we find the following. "We are also to ap- 
prove zealously the decrees, mandates, traditions, rites and manners 
(lives), of the Fathers or Superiors." The sixth rule reads. We 
must "praise moreover the veneration and invocation of the saints; 
also the stations and pious pilgrimages; indulgences; jubilees; the 
candles accustomed to be lighted in the churches; and the other 
helps of this kind to our piety and devotion." 

Fasts; penances, internal and external; the construction of 
churches; images; the precepts of the Church; theology (positive 
and scholastic), etc., are likewise to be praised. In fact all those 
things with which the reformers found fault are to be praised. 

Ignatius' pious credulity betrays itself in his arbitrary locating of 
the birthplace of Eve "in the plain of Damascus," and in apportion- 
ing a servant girl as attendant on the Virgin Mary when she travelled 
to Bethlehem with Joseph. He betrays a Calvinistic spirit when in 
laying down "Rules for Food" he ordains pious meditation during 
meals, in order that "the mind being thus abstracted y the food. Itself 
and- the 'pleasure of eating may be little 'perceived" Indeed these 
rules seem to have as object the elimination of all such pleasure. He 
does not feel anxious ^a^out the consumption of bread "since it 
neither excites gluttony so much nor equally lays us open to temp- 
tation." Sweet and delicate foods, however, are to be strictly 
moderated "since by them greater occasion is furnished both to the 
appetite to sin and to the enemy to tempt." 

Certain critics of the Exercises have pointed out that they are 
calculated to produce abnormal nervous states in those who make 
them, even to the extent of producing hallucinary ecstasies, and in- 
deed in Ignatius' annotations there is a warning against giving the 
exercises indiscriminately. Usually women were not allowed to 
make them. Acquaviva, writing to the Rector of Spier, 5 said: "As 
we have often written before, it does not seem worth while to give 
the Spiritual Exercises to women. ... It will suffice if our mem- 
bers try to help them by means of spiritual books." Whether the 
reason of such a ruling was that the Order considered women too 
highly strung, or (as is implied in the Directorium) too deficient 

6 July i, 1600. 

82 The Jesuit Enigma 

mentally, is not wholly clear. No doubt Acquaviva remembered 
that Ignatius' exhortations in Alkala had thrown women into fits 
and hysterias of an alarming kind, and he was anxious to prevent 
a recurrence of such things. 

There can be no doubt but that the Exercises have a very un- 
fortunate effect upon Exercitants predisposed to depression or 
troubled with an inferiority complex. Some of the meditations are 
calculated to drive such people insane. For instance. "The third 
is to consider myself, who or of what kind I am, adding compari- 
sons which may bring me to a greater contempt of myself as if I 
reflect how little I am when compared with all men . . . lastly 
let me look at the corruption of my whole self, the wickedness of 
my souly and the 'pollution of my body, and account myself to be a 
kind of ulcer or boll, from which so great and foul a flood of sins, 
so great a pestilence of vices has flown down" The Exercitant is 
furthermore to consider that "the sky, the sun, the moon, and the 
other heavenly bodies, the elements and all kinds of animals and 
productions of the earth in place of vengeance due, have given 
service . . . how lastly the earth has not opened and swallowed him 
up, unbaring a thousand hells, in which he should suffer everlasting 

Jesuits complain 6 that modern criticisms of the Exercises, which 
they call "attacks" are "generally unscientific, inspired by passion, 
and made without any preliminary examination of the 'question." 
What is a critic to say when he finds that even Generals of the 
Order like Acquaviva consider that the Exercises should not be given 
to women? What is he to say when he finds that the kind of 
spiritual food contained in the Exercises is unsuitable for the ma- 
jority of Christians? Has he not good reason to think that this 
book, however much praised and blessed, is grotesque in its 
asceticism? He compares it for instance with the New Testament, 
and finds that unlike the New Testament it cannot be used without 
much danger of harm. Its spirit he finds different, and its effects 
on the soul he finds very contrary. From calm and pious reading 
of the one, peace of soul is derived. From contact with the other 
v there arises strain, excitement, and a kind of spiritual vengefulness. 
He discovers an elaborate and excessive technique in the Exercises, 
6 Cf. Fr. Debuchy, S.J., Catholic Encyclopedia, 

The Book That Made the Jesuits 83 

together with a conscious and calculated forcing 1 up of feelings and 
emotions. There is intemperate vehemence in some meditations, and 
the inculcation of morbid pessimism in others. There is no little 
sentimentality displayed in the kissing of pious places or objects, and 
a somewhat mawkish mysticism in "tasting and smelling sweet- 
nesses." There is so much reiteration of the principle of "going 
against" every impulse of nature that one begins to question its 
ascetical value. Finally, there is so much "talking down" to the 
Exercitant, and so many needlessly dogmatic pronouncements, that 
resistance and resentment are awakened. 

There is a lack of harmony, of gentle moderation and sweet 
reasonableness, that provokes the critic to diagnose immaturity. 

In spite however of its shortcomings and imperfections, the 
Spiritual Exercises proved to be a wonder-working book. No 
doubt suggestion played a very large role in the results it achieved. 
Those who entered under its thraldom were expectant of marvels 
and the marvels happened. Rich men found themselves parting 
with their hard-won and dearly loved gold. Ecclesiastical diplo- 
mats, who had secured rich benefices, after years of painstaking in- 
trigue, made the Exercises and resigned their much prized offices. 
Soldiers laid down their trusty swords; professors gave up their 
honourable chairs. Nobles made over their large estates to their 
relatives or to the Society. Don Juans abandoned their reckless 
pursuit of pleasures. And meanwhile, the pages of the little book 
that we have been occupied with, awakened ideals that inspired 
chivalrous souls to dare and do great things for the King, who is 
so "beautiful in form and in appearance so supremely worthy of 1 



THE Jesuit Institute is defined as "the way of living and work- 
ing -peculiar to the Order" The underlying spirit, the "mind of the 
Order," finds expression in its "way of living and working," and 
in "the written documents authorised by legitimate authority which 
describe it." * 

There is abundant material for studying the mind of the Order, 
for Jesuit works are very varied in kind, from growing vines in 
Australia, to teaching diplomacy in Washington, and official "writ- 
ten documents" which give rules and ordinances for Jesuit behav- 
iour, are, to say the least, voluminous. But in spite of this abun- 
dance of material, the "Mind of the Jesuit Order" is beyond the 
reach of ordinary investigators. For "the Jesuit way of living 
and working" is in its essentials rather heavily veiled, and inquisi- 
tive eyes that would fain pierce this veil are baulked. 

Jesuits, nevertheless, complain of critics who write about them 
without contemplating them in the nude. "It is notoriously im- 
possible," writes Fr. Pollen, S.J., 2 "to expect that a.nti-Jesuit 
writers of our day should face their subject in a commonsense and 
scientific manner . . . the only rational manner of enquiry into 
the subject would be to approach the persons under discussion." But 
what do we find when we follow the "commonsense and scientific 
manner" and approach Jesuits to ask them about themselves? We 
have, let us suppose, been reading the Jesuit Constitutions, and have 
been astonished to find elaborate provisions for spying and secret 
denunciation; for expelling members without trial or judiciary 
procedure; for punishing and incarcerating members, and we feel 
that there is an element of great harshness in these enactments. But 
before forming a final judgment we turn to Fr. Pollen, S.J., to 
seek enlightenment. He tells us 8 with unction that "the rule 

1 Epit. Inst, 4. 

2 Catholic Encyclopedia, "The Society." 
s Catholic Encyclopedia. 


The Mind of the Jesuit Order 85 

throughout is one of love inspired by wisdom, and it must be in- 
terpreted in the spirit of charity which animates it. This is especially 
true of its provisions for the affectionate relations of members with 
Superiors and with one another." 

Or, let us suppose, we have been reading the Papal Brief of 
Clement XIV in which he enumerates the evils he found in the 
Order at the time he suppressed it in 1773, and before forming 
any judgment about the state of the Order at that time, we turn to 
the Jesuit General, Fr. Roothan, to enquire of him, as regards the 
matter. He replies as follows, leaving us again somewhat puzzled: 

"When the Society began its third century, it was flourishing and 
vigorous as it always had been in literature, theology, and eloquence; 
it engaged in the education of youth with distinguished success, in 
some countries without rivals, in others it was second almost to no 
other religious Order; its zeal for souls was exercised on behalf of 
men of every condition of life, not only in the countries of Europe, 
Catholic and Protestant alike, but among the savages of the remot- 
est parts of the world, nor was the commendation awarded them 
less than the fruit they had gathered and what is more important, 
amid the applause they won and the favours they were granted, 
their pursuit of genuine piety and holiness was such, that although 
in the vast number of more than twenty thousand then in the Soci- 
ety, there may have been a few, a very few y who In their life and 
conduct were not altogether what they should have been } and who in 
consequence brought sorrow on that best of Mothers, the Society, 
nevertheless there were very many in every province who were con- 
spicuous for sanctity and who diffused far and wide the good 
odour of Jesus Christ. . . . It seemed like a splendid abiding place 
of science and piety and virtue; an august temple extending over the 
earthy consecrated to the glory of God, and the salvation of souls" 

Thus, when enquirers seek further information about the Rules, 
or about the state of the Order at the time when Christ's Vicar 
considered it his duty to suppress it, they are told by Jesuits that the 
Rule is one of "love inspired by wisdom" and that the Order in its 
worst days was "a splendid, abiding place of science, piety and 
virtue." But there are other reasons, more serious still, for doubt- 
ing if it is "scientific and commonsense" to ask Jesuits about their 
way of living and working. 

86 The Jesuit Enigma 

Jesuits are forbidden by rule to disclose information about their 
doings. 4 "Let no one tell outsiders what has been done or is about 
to be done at home, unless he knows that he has the Superior's 
approval for so doing. Books or manuscripts concerning the doings 
of 'Ours' which are not written for the general public are not to 
be shown to outsiders without the Superior's express consent." And 
Jesuits are warned, 5 "to be diligently on their guard in private con- 
versations and in answering questions . . . lest they say anything 
which they are unwilling should be published." 

Again, even when among themselves, Jesuits are sternly forbid- 
den to criticise the Constitutions. At Provincial Congregations, 
where the forty senior professed fathers of the Province assemble 
in secret conclave, no one may dare to broach the subject of a modi- 
fication of the Constitutions, or to venture to find fault with them. 
To propose a change in the Constitutions to any save the Pope, the 
General, or a General Congregation is to incur dire penalties; to 
attack the Constitutions is one of the worst crimes a Jesuit can 
commit. By so doing he incurs excommunication! Is it likely then 
that Jesuits will give information to enquirers as regards any defects 
or shortcomings in their holy Rule? 

Furthermore if an enquirer seeks in the published reports of the 
General Congregations for information about the things that have 
disturbed and agitated the Society, his labour will be in yain. No 
minutes of these meetings are published. The interesting things, 
the "private matters," are kept secret even from the members of the 

Fr. Campbell 6 well illustrates the Jesuit mentality, in referring 
to the punishment inflicted by Superiors on Fr. Portillo, S.J.: "It 
is very gratifying to learn that outside the domestic precincts, no 
one ever knew the reason of this drastic measure." 

There is, needless to say, a characteristic "Jesuit way" or men- 
tality well worthy of study, if only it can be got at. Jesuits them- 
selves constantly use the expression, "Our way of doing things," 
and if one among them employs any other way he is looked upon 
askance and it is said of him that he is not "one of Ours." The 
Jesuit "way" has reference to the traditional customs of the Order; 
it is discreet, unemotional, calculating; it is in keeping with edifica- 

4 Epit. Const., 237. G Ibid., 238. e The Jesuits, p. 55. , 

The Mind of the Jesuit Order 87 

tion, with "good form" of an ecclesiastical kind; it is undemon- 
strative, but of a kind likely to attract the attention and admiration 
of "thoughtful Catholics." It is cautious, conservative, diplomatic, 
and in the background one finds that the reputation and selfish in- 
terests of the Order are kept well in mind. It surprises pious people 
at first when they come up against the Jesuit "way." They ap- 
proach the Jesuits, asking them to co-operate in some good work, 
and they find to their astonishment that the Order, in spite of its 
high reputation for apostolic zeal, is unprepared to help, though it 
always gives a very plausible reason for not doing so. Cardinal 
Wiseman, to take one example, found out the "Jesuit way" when 
he sought co-operation from them, in the work of his archdiocese 
of Westminster. He wrote to Fr. F. W. Faber, the famous Ora- 

torian : 7 

"The Jesuits here have a splendid church (Farm Street, Mayfair, 
London), a large house, several priests. . . . Scarcely was I settled 
in London when I applied to the Superior to establish here a com- 
munity in due form, of some ten or twelve Fathers. I also asked 
for missionaries to give retreats to Congregations, etc. I was an- 
swered on both heads that dearth of subjects made it impossible. 
Hence we have under them only a church which by its splendour 
attracts and absorbs the wealth of two parishes, but maintains no 
schools, and contributes nothing to the education of the poor at its 
very door; I could say more but I refrain." 

In the Mind of the Order immense importance is attached to uni- 
formity in all things. There must be uniformity in the external 
bearing of Jesuits as witnessed by the "Rules of Modesty." There 
must be uniformity in all spiritual methods and practices; in the 
saying of Mass; in the use of a definite type of mental prayer; in 
the hearing of confessions, "so that all may understand that by a 
mutual bond of charity and uniformity the confessors of the So- 
ciety are bound together"; there must , be uniformity even in the 
method and spirit of preaching. In preaching, the telling of anec- 
dotes, or funny stories, or the laying too much stress on emotions 
should be avoided as "alien to the common custom of preaching in 
the Society." 

The arch-rule of uniformity is given in the "Summary." 8 

7 October 27, 1852. 8 Rule 42. 



THE Jesuit Institute is defined as "the way of living and work- 
ing peculiar to the Order" The underlying spirit, the "mind of the 
Order," finds expression in its "way of living and working," and 
in "the written documents authorised by legitimate authority which 
describe it." * 

There is abundant material for studying the mind of the Order, 
for Jesuit works are very varied in kind, from growing vines in 
Australia, to teaching diplomacy in Washington, and official "writ- 
ten documents" which give rules and ordinances for Jesuit behav- 
iour, are, to say the least, voluminous. But in spite of this abun- 
dance of material, the "Mind of the Jesuit Order" is beyond the 
reach of ordinary investigators. For "the Jesuit way of living 
and working" is in its essentials rather heavily veiled, and inquisi- 
tive eyes that would fain pierce this veil are baulked. 

Jesuits, nevertheless, complain of critics who write about them 
without contemplating them in the nude. "It is notoriously im- 
possible," writes Fr. Pollen, S.J., 2 "to expect that anti- Jesuit 
writers of our day should face their subject in a commonsense and 
scientific manner . . . the only rational manner of enquiry into 
the subject would be to approach the persons under discussion." But 
what do we find when we follow the "commonsense and scientific 
manner" and approach Jesuits to ask them about themselves? We 
have, let us suppose, been reading the Jesuit Constitutions, and have 
been astonished to find elaborate provisions for spying and secret 
denunciation; for expelling members without trial or judiciary 
procedure; for punishing and incarcerating members, and we feel 
that there is an element of great harshness in these enactments. But 
before forming a final judgment we turn to Fr. Pollen, S.J., to 
seek enlightenment. He tells us 3 with unction that "the rule 

1 Epit. Inst., 4. 

2 Catholic Encyclopedia, "The Society." 
8 Catholic Encyclopedia. 


The Mind of the Jesuit Order 85 

throughout is one of love inspired by wisdom, and it must be in- 
terpreted in the spirit of charity which animates it. This is especially 
true of its provisions for the affectionate relations of members with 
Superiors and with one another." 

Or, let us suppose, we have been reading the Papal Brief of 
Clement XIV in which he enumerates the evils he found in the 
Order at the time he suppressed it in 1773, and before forming 
any judgment about the state of the Order at that time, we turn to 
the Jesuit General, Fr. Roothan, to enquire of him, as regards the 
matter. He replies as follows, leaving us again somewhat puzzled: 

"When the Society began its third century, it was flourishing and 
vigorous as it always had been in literature, theology, and eloquence; 
it engaged in the education of youth with distinguished success, in 
some countries without rivals, in others it was second almost to no 
other religious Order; its zeal for souls was exercised on behalf of 
men of every condition of life, not only in the countries of Europe, 
Catholic and Protestant alike, but among the savages of the remot- 
est parts of the world, nor was the commendation awarded them 
less than the fruit they had gathered and what is more important, 
amid the applause they won and the favours they were granted, 
their pursuit of genuine piety and holiness was such, that although 
in the vast number of more than twenty thousand then in the Soci- 
ety, ther-e may have been a few, a very few, 'who in their life and 
conduct were not altogether what they should have been, and who in 
consequence brought sorrow on that best of Mothers, the Society, 
nevertheless there were very many in every province who were con- 
spicuous for sanctity and who diffused far and wide the good 
odour of Jesus Christ. . . . It seemed like a splendid abiding 'place 
of science and 'piety and virtue; an august temple extending over the 
earth, consecrated to the glory of God, and the salvation of souls." 

Thus, when enquirers seek further information about the Rules, 
or about the state of the Order at the time when Christ's Vicar 
considered it his duty to suppress it, they are told by Jesuits that the 
Rule is one of "love inspired by wisdom" and that the Order in its 
worst days was "a sglendid, abiding -place of science, piety and 
virtue." But there are other reasons, more serious still, for doubt- 
ing if it is "scientific and commonsense" to ask Jesuits about their 
way of living and working. 

86 The Jesuit Enigma 

Jesuits are forbidden by rule to disclose information about their 
doings. 4 "Let no one tell outsiders what has been done or is about 
to be done at home, unless he knows that he has the Superior's 
approval for so doing. Books or manuscripts concerning the doings 
of c Ours' which are not written for the general public are not to 
be shown to outsiders without the Superior's express consent." And 
Jesuits are warned, 5 "to be diligently on their guard in private con- 
versations and in answering questions . . . lest they say anything 
which they are unwilling should be published." 

Again, even when among themselves, Jesuits are sternly forbid- 
den to criticise the Constitutions. At Provincial Congregations, 
where the forty senior professed fathers of the Province assemble 
in secret conclave, no one may dare to broach the subject of a modi- 
fication of the Constitutions, or to venture to find fault with them. 
To propose a change in the Constitutions to any save the Pope, the 
General, or a General Congregation is to incur dire penalties; to 
attack the Constitutions is one of the worst crimes a Jesuit can 
commit. By so doing he incurs excommunication ! Is it likely then 
that Jesuits will give information to enquirers as regards any defects 
or shortcomings in their holy Rule? 

Furthermore if an enquirer seeks in the published reports of the 
General Congregations for information about the things that have 
disturbed and agitated the Society, his labour will be in vain. No 
minutes of these meetings are published. The interesting things, 
the "private matters," are kept secret even from the members of the 

Fr. Campbell 6 well illustrates the Jesuit mentality, in referring 
to the punishment inflicted by Superiors on Fr. Portillo, S.J.: "It 
is very gratifying to learn that outside the domestic precincts, no 
one ever knew the reason of this drastic measure." 

There is, needless to say, a characteristic "Jesuit way" or men- 
tality well worthy of study, if only it can be got at. Jesuits them- 
selves constantly use the expression, "Our way of doing things," 
and if one among them employs any other way he is looked upon 
askance and it is said of him that he is not "one of Ours." The 
Jesuit "way" has reference to the traditional customs of the Order ; 
it is discreet, unemotional, calculating; it is in keeping with edifica- 
4 Epit. Const., 237- B Ibid., 238. 6 The Jesuits, p. 55. 

The Mind of the Jesuit Order 87 

tion, with "good form" of an ecclesiastical kind; it is undemon- 
strative, but of a kind likely to attract the attention and admiration 
of "thoughtful Catholics." It is cautious, conservative, diplomatic, 
and in the background one finds that the reputation and selfish in- 
terests of the Order are kept well in mind. It surprises pious people 
at first when they come up against the Jesuit "way." They ap- 
proach the Jesuits, asking them to co-operate in some good work, 
and they find to their astonishment that the Order, in spite of its 
high reputation for apostolic zeal, is unprepared to help, though it 
always gives a very plausible reason for not doing so. Cardinal 
Wiseman, to take one example, found out the "Jesuit way" when 
he sought co-operation from them, in the work of his archdiocese 
of Westminster. He wrote to Fr. F. W. Faber, the famous Ora- 

torian : 7 

"The Jesuits here have a splendid church (Farm Street, Mayfair, 
London), a large house, several priests. . . . Scarcely was I settled 
in London when I applied to the Superior to establish here a com- 
munity in due form, of some ten or twelve Fathers. I also asked 
for missionaries to give retreats to Congregations, etc. I was an- 
swered on both heads that dearth of subjects made it impossible. 
Hence we have under them only a church which by its splendour 
attracts and absorbs the wealth of two parishes, but maintains no 
schools, and contributes nothing to the education of the poor at its 
very door; I could say more but I refrain." 

In the Mind of the Order immense importance is attached to uni- 
formity in all things. There must be uniformity in the external 
bearing of Jesuits as witnessed by the "Rules of Modesty." There 
must be uniformity in all spiritual methods and practices; in the 
saying of Mass; in the use of a definite type of mental prayer; in 
the hearing of confessions, "so that all may understand that by a 
mutual bond of charity and uniformity the confessors of the So- 
ciety are bound together"; there must be uniformity even in the 
method and spirit of preaching. In preaching, the telling of anec- 
dotes, or funny stories, or the laying too much stress on emotions 
should be avoided as "alien to the common custom of preaching in 
the Society." 

The arch-rule of uniformity is given in the "Summary." 8 
7 October 27, 1852. 8 Rule 42. 

88 The Jesuit Enigma 

"Let us all think and as far as possible say the same things. . . . 
Differences of doctrine are not to be tolerated either in word or in 
public utterances or in written books. . . . Furthermore, difference 
of opinion as regards things to be done, which is wont to be the 
mother of discord and inimical to union of will, is as far as possible 
to be avoided. Mutual union and conformity is most diligently to 
be sought after nor are obstacles to it to be permitted." 

In order to secure uniformity of political opinion, or, rather, 
perhaps the absence of all political opinion, a rule ordains that "in 
the Society there must not be, or seem to be, any propensity of mind 
towards either side in any quarrel which may happen to exist be- 
tween Christian princes or lords." 

It is surely a noteworthy characteristic of Jesuit mentality, to 
legislate for such complete and of course impossible uniformity as 
that of "thinking and as far as possible saying the same thing." 

In the Fourth Part of the Constitutions, 9 the Order legislates 
concerning "The Doctrine to be held in the Society" and the 
"Means to be taken to avoid dangerous Doctrines." Here the 
"Mind of the Order" reveals itself as perhaps nowhere else. Above 
all safety! "In every faculty Ours must follow the more safe 
(jsecuriorem) and- more approved doctrine > and the authors that teach 
it" Therefore no risks may be taken. In cases where there is 
diversity of opinion, that is to say where it is impossible to say which 
is the "safer and more approved doctrine," Ours must unanimously 
stand together and teach the same doctrine. Uniformity, there- 
fore, must supply for the absence of perfect safety! Needless to 
say the close following of Saint Thomas is insisted upon. "Those 
are to be chosen as Professors who are Thomistic enthusiasts" (erga 
S. Doctorem bene affecti). Professors must beware of "overmuch 
trusting their own judgment in putting forward new interpretations, 
discovered by themselves, as Thomas' true doctrine." 

Superiors are to admonish and, if incorrigible, remove from office 
any Professors who are less well affected towards Saint Thomas, or 
who do not teach in its totality the doctrine approved in the Society, 
or who make little of the great Doctors of the Order, or who defend 
their own opinions immoderately. ^ 

"In general Superiors must carefully and constantly be on the 
Cf. Epit., 314-323. 

\* The Mind of the Jesuit Order 89 

watch to preserve Ours from the contamination of unrestrained 
study of new things (novltatum), and dangerous freedom In think- 
ing (j>erlculosa ofonandl llcentla) ." 

It is not enough that an opinion be not condemned. Before 
being put forward, care must be taken to discover whether or not 
an opinion is in conformity with the mind of the Church as already 
clearly manifested in the writings of the Fathers, and approved 
Doctors. Nothing new may be put forward which is not wholly in 
accord with Christian faith and piety. If it could deservedly of- 
fend the faithful it should not be put forward! Then follows a 
clause, 10 which reduces to a position of utter slavery and subjection 
the Jesuit Professor of Theology or Philosophy or Science; a clause 
which in itself exposes the Order's conservatism, absolutism, and 
equivocal attitude towards Truth. "Let no Professor Introduce a 
new question or voice any opinion of any moment, which Is not 
espoused by. an approved author y even though It Involve no danger 
to Faith and Piety y unless he first of all consult his Superiors about 
the matter" And in case he is uncertain whether or not the opinion 
he proposes to discuss be new or not, he is to hurry to his Superior to 
ask his opinion on the matter and to be guided by him. 

It would be impossible to find in all the world more utterly 
humiliating conditions imposed upon a Professor. Let us sum up 
the matter thus. 

Fr. M. is appointed by the Society to profess Philosophy because 
he is known to be a Thomistic "fan," and of a docile and submis- 
sive temperament, and averse to new things and dangerous novelties. 
He commences his course of lectures, taking the utmost pains to 
interpret Saint Thomas in a safe, approved and conservative way, 
meanwhile seizing every opportunity to praise the great Jesuit 
Doctors. He carefully avoids every new opinion, every thing that, 
although not condemned by the Church, might possibly endanger 
piety. If he cannot avoid quoting some non-Catholic author he+takes 
care not to praise him, and tries to show that the non-Catholic de- 
rived the good thing he said from some Catholic author; in fine, 
that he was a plagiarist. ^He represses any tendency towards original 
speculation, knowing that if he displayed any such tendency he 
would be at once reprimanded and would lose his Professorship. At 

10 Cf. Epit., 319- 

90 The Jesuit Enigma 

length comes the day of temptation! An opinion presents itself to 
his mind which seems interesting, important and a little original. 
May he put it before his class? He considers the matter. The 
opinion is clearly not contrary to Faith, Morals, the doctrine of the 
Society, the teaching of Thomas, nor does it contain anything that 
could in the least offend pious Catholics or endanger their piety. 
He may, therefore, put forward this opinion? No, certainly not! 
The opinion is not clearly derived from any great approved Doctor 
(nullius idonei sit auctoris). Or if it is to be found in such an 
author, it is only ambiguously expressed, and it might be pointed out 
that it is a matter of doubt whether or not the author in question 
taught it. Hence Fr. M. must hasten to his Superior, if necessary 
keeping his class waiting, and ask approval for putting forward this 
safe, pious, Catholic, Thomistic, conservative, but possibly slightly 
original opinion. Such is the position of the Jesuit Professor of 
Philosophy! Such the attitude of the Jesuit Order towards Science! 
And yet, what Hypocrisy! In the section of the Constitutions 
which follows we find this profession of liberalism. 11 

t( By no means does the Society wish to restrict a just liberty as 
regards doubtful matters; much less does it wish to inveigh against 
a right use of scholarship and criticism and of all the helps most 
usefully derived from the progress of Science." This interesting 
part of the Jesuit Constitutions terminates with directions about 
the use of forbidden books and dangerous periodicals. Only a 
Provincial can give permission to read a forbidden book. He may 
only give such permission after deliberation and for a serious 
reason. He who gets the book must under pain of mortal sin so 
carefully guard it that it cannot fall into the hands of another. 
No young Jesuit is to be allowed to read periodicals or books, which 
even though not "forbidden" may be in some respects dangerous. 
The result of all these restrictions is frankly admitted by Fr. T. J. 
Campbell, S.J. "It is quite true," he writes, "that the 'philosophers 
of the Society have never evolved any independent philosophical or 
theological thought, in the modern acceptation of that term" 12 

In the Mind of the Order, as revealed in "the way of living and 
working peculiar to the Order," there is to be found much worldly 
11 Epit, 322. " The Jesuits, p. 378. 

The Mind of Jhe Jesuit Order 91 

wisdom, not far removed from craftiness. Sometimes it borders 
on guile and cunning. Jesuits themselves admit its existence but 
they generally use the euphemistic term, "long-headedness," and 
find its sacred origin in the "long-headedness of Saint Ignatius." 
One can find examples of this characteristic in almost every section 
of the Jesuit Constitutions, and in every official document. 

As regards the methods employed in dismissal of members, we 
find that "dimissorial papers" are to be handed to the subject in the 
presence of two witnesses, or if that be not possible they are to be 
sent by registered mail so that there be legal proof that he received 
them. Furthermore, if the dismissed subject has been accused of 
wrong-doing while in the Order, proofs thereof are to be 'preserved 
in the Jesuit archives until his death. In the case of a suitable mem- 
ber who is desirous of leaving the Society, he must write out his 
reasons for applying for dismissal, and add that he has no other 
reasons than those alleged, and sign this 'pa'per, which forthwith is 
considered by Superiors. If the General refuses his request, per- 
petual silence may be imposed upon him by precept, so that if he 
opens the question again he will sin mortally. "Let him be per- 
suaded that unless he obey the Superior he will not be secure in his 
conscience." He incurs excommunication if he consults outsiders 
and tries .to get them to obtain his dismissal for him. He is also 
punished in accordance with the Provincial's judgment, and subse- 
quent escape from the Society becomes doubly difficult for him. 
However, the hardest case of all is that of young Jesuits who for 
moral reasons, of an intimate kind, desire to leave the Order j for 
instance, if they find celibacy to be impossible for them. Even in 
such a case they have to reveal their moral weakness, outside con- 
fession, to the General, Provincial, and their Superior so that the 
case may be fully discussed. "If they refuse to reveal their hidden 
reasons to the aforesaid Fathers, let them be deprived of all hope of 
obtaining dismissal" 1S Jesuits who commit crimes in order to pro- 
cure dismissal incur the penalties of apostates. Their dismissal is 
invalid and the Society may take legal measures against them in the 
public courts (in foro exfcerno), as against true apostates. One need 
not wonder, therefore, seeing the difficulties that stand in the way of 
quitting the Society, that many Jesuits remain in it, rather than face 

18 VIII Congr. Can. 22, 5. 

92 The Jesuit, Enigma 

the trouble of obtaining a dismissal. One cannot help, too, noticing 
the use made by the Society of the term "dismissal"; even in the 
case of those who leave the Society for the highest and best motives, 
"dismissal" is the term used. 

The worldly wisdom of the Society betrays itself in an interest- 
ing way in the rules which regulate what is called the "Renuncia- 
tion of Property." Jesuits about to take their final vows must com- 
pletely relinquish all property which stands in their name. In 
theory, at least, they are free to dispose of their property as they 
think best, provided they devote it to a good purpose. Among the 
purposes that are considered good, is the provision for the comfort or 
support of their own relatives. They are not bound by law to leave 
their property to the Order. If, however, they choose to leave it to 
a relative they must be guided by the advice of one or two or three 
Jesuits, "commendable for their learning and piety." 14 

In addition to the "advice" thus given, Superiors may "modestly 
lay o'pen before them the necessities of the Society, though in such a 
way as to leave them free" 15 This clause, fair and even edifying 
in appearance, in practice amounts at times to moral compulsion. 
The subject knows, or is told, that if he leaves his money to the 
Order he will be regarded as a "benefactor," and much considera- 
tion will be shown to him as such. Furthermore, he knows that if 
he exercises his freedom and bestows his property in some other 
direction, it will be looked upon as a sign of disloyalty and ingrati- 
tude. He will suffer in indirect ways for his "independence." 
Being still a young Jesuit, and much in fear of being thought ill of 
by Superiors, it is all but impossible for him to refuse when his 
Superior "modestly lays open the necessities of the Society." One 
Jesuit, a friend of mine, who wished to leave his property to a 
sister, who was not well provided for, was extremely incensed at 
the pressure brought to bear upon him by his Superiors to leave the ' 
money to the Order. In the end, although a rather strong-minded 
man, he had to submit to a compromise. 

In the "Rules for Missioners," worldly wisdom is recommended 

under the title "human means." One rule reads, "Human means 

are not only not to be despised but even when necessary prudehitly 

and religiously employed." This rule reminds one of the aphorism 

M Epit. 489. 15 Ibid., 487. 

The Mind of the Jesuit Order 93 

of Cardinal Allen. "Apostolic men should not only despise moneys 
they should also have it." This the Society evidently believed for 
when Jesuit missionaries settled in a city they were to make out a 
list of "the good men who are distinguished for piety and famous 
for their achievements." These rich and powerful Catholics were 
to be assiduously cultivated. The missionaries, however, were to be 
"moderate in seeking alms lest excessive alms-seeking should drive 
away the faithful from their ministrations and as a result spiritual 
fruit and temporal fruit might fail." 16 In Jesuit Colleges, on 
Academy days, the prizes awarded were to be paid for by some 
rich benefactor, and care was to be taken to make "honorifica 
mentio" of the benefactor ! 

In the "Common Rules" there are some quaint examples of 
prudence and practical wisdom. Jesuits must not sleep without a 
shirt, or uncovered. On arising they must cover their beds, and 
they may only leave their rooms when decently clothed. When 
hearing confessions Jesuits must not exchange glances (mutuum 
aspectum) with penitents, but should hold their hands before their 
faces. Were they to keep this rule strictly they would sometimes be 
unable to tell whether it was a boy or a woman they were confessing. 
Jesuits are forbidden to tell their penitents what cut or colour of 
clothes they should wear. They are not to show resentment if some 
fair penitent should quit their confessionals for some more fash- 
ionable confessor. They were originally forbidden to allow their 
penitents, especially if they were married, to communicate more 
than once a week. For in the eyes of the Order there was ap- 
parently something in marriage that made married folk less worthy 
of communion than others, albeit marriage was ordained by God. 
At school or college plays, care was to be taken that no female-like 
person (persona ulla muliebris), nor any female attire (habitus), 
should appear upon the stage. No risks were ever to be taken in 
matters pertaining to sex. And, though a trifling detail, it is per- 
haps worth recording that to this day in Jesuit Houses on the Conti- 
nent, Jesuits when taking baths/ even "shower baths," are supposed 
to clothe themselves bef one so doing in calico knickers. 

The idea of giving edification was apparently an obsession of 
Saint Ignatius, and from him this obsession was transmitted to the 

is Monita Generalia, 8. 

94 The Jesuit Enigma 

mind of the Order. In the "Rules of Modesty," as we shall see, 
the phrase "mindful of edification" occurs more than once, and in 
practically every group of rules it is repeated. It seems as though 
the Society visualised the whole world as looking to it for edifica- 
tion. The pose of "edifying all in the Lord," however, forced the 
Society into much hypocrisy. 

In the Constitutions, to take one example, the little Jesuit pious 
periodicals, The Messenger of the Sacred Hearty The Ma- 
donna, and so forth, are recommended "as means by which 
mutual edification may be fostered and zeal in solid virtue and de- 
votion to the Sacred Heart and the Mother of God daily in- 
creased." 17 As we shall see later, these booklets are one of the big- 
gest sources of revenue that the Society has. The profits are in some 
Provinces gigantic. And yet the Society puts up the pretence that 
its motive for publishing them is "mutual edification." 

In the matter of poverty, too, the Society adopts the same pose. 
Every one knows that Jesuits will not give their services unless 
well recompensed for them. Nevertheless, even their recent revised 
edition of the Constitutions affirms: "In order that we may vindi- 
cate the perfect and absolute gratuity of our services . . . let every 
afflearance of whatsoever kind of accenting stipends be removed, by 
which our ministrations may seem to be recompensed" 18 Even 
twenty years of intimate knowledge of the varied pretence attitudes 
of the Society of Jesus has not dulled my sense of astonishment at 
the superb audacity of this hypocritical pose ! 

In the mentality of the Society there is also profound preoccupa- 
tion as regards its reputation and good name. This is clearly evi- 
denced among other places in the rules for the Censors of Jesuit 
publications. Apart from other concerns, Censors must look to it 
that they do not authorise the publication of anything which might 
"tend to lessen the refutation of the Society for religion and cir- 
cumspection" 1? No book is to be published unless "it fulfils what 
Is expected of the writings of Jesuits" Under no circumstances 

17 Epit. 676. . v 

18 Ut gratuitatem ministeriorum nostrorum absolutam perfectamque vin- 
dicemus . . . omnis prorsus species stipendii removeatur quo ministeria 
nostra compensari videantur. Epit., 525. 

10 Epit. 684. 

The Mind of the Jesuit Order 95 

may any risk be taken in regard to the publication of books which 
might possibly be harmful to the Society. 

One must make a certain allowance for the efforts of the Order 
to make the best appearance it could before the world. It had been 
called by the French Clergy, in their assembly in 1761, "an entire 
and blameless Order," and by Pope Clement XIII in 1765 an 
Institute "breathing in the very highest degree piety and holiness," 
and it had to endeavour to live up, in appearance if not in reality, 
to these high encomiums. It never expressed any embarrassment at 
being the recipient of such compliments. Individual Jesuits no 
doubt have often been embarrassed at being regarded as Saints. 
Not so the Society as a whole! It swallowed all the flattery that 
was accorded to it, and even improved on the compliments paid it, 
by .describing itself, in the words of its General Roothan, as "a 
splendid abiding place of science, and i piety and virtue; an august 
temple extending over the earth, consecrated to the glory of God 
and the salvation of souls." 

So far, we have discussed as component factors of the Mind of 
the Order, anxiety to secure perfect uniformity in all things, and a 
certain "long-headedness" in ways of achieving its aims. We have 
now to touch upon something equally characteristic, but somewhat 
less excusable: the official arrogance, the attitude of superiority and 
quasi-infallibility in the Order. 

On the very first page of the Revised Institute 20 one is brought 
face to face with this peculiar mentality of the Society, whose 
founder used to speak of it as "Our wee little Company of Jesus" 
(Nostra minima Socletas Jesu). The section may appear fairly 
innocuous to a casual reader, but in the light of history it is very 
far from being so. 

"The name 'Society of Jesus' was given it by our holy father 
Saint Ignatius himself, and was explicitly sanctioned by the Apos- 
tolic See and declared to be retained for ever. The Society was 
first approved by Paul III in 1540, and soon after praised by the 
Council of Trent. It was frequently confirmed by Roman Pon- 

There is something proud and combative about this statement, 
and something vindictive against the memories of Sixtus V, who 
20 Cf. first section of the Procemium. 

96 The Jesuit Enigma 

abolished the name "Society of Jesus"; and against Clement XIV 
who showed perfectly clearly that the Society was not only not "ap- 
proved and confirmed" by the Council of Trent, but that it was not 
even "praised" by it. 

The Pope, Gregory XIV, who in 1591 issued the decree "Ec- 
clesice Catholicce" confirming the name of the Society, was Pope 
for only ten months. He was much under the influence of the 
Jesuits, and a victim of Acquaviva's intrigue. He it was who on 
facing the Cardinals after his election, cried: "God forgive you! 
What have you done?" 

When the Order was about to celebrate its first centenary, in 
1640, the Belgian Province published, with full official sanction, 
an illustrated volume of a thousand pages called The Mirror of the 
First Century of the Society of Jesus. 21 The Order has ever since 
bitterly regretted its folly in publishing this arrogant panegyric on 
its own achievements. If, as is most probable, it reflected truly the 
mind of the Order, it is impossible not to be amazed at the extent 
to which the Order regarded itself as heaven-born, heaven-protected, 
and heaven-befriending. 

The "Imago" describes how the Society was foretold by the 
Prophets of old; how God Himself revealed its name to Ignatius; 
how Jesus Christ was its real founder. "It is evident that the 
Society of Jesus is distinguished as to time only from the Com- 
munity of the Apostles. It is not a new Order, but only a renewal 
of the first religious Community one only Founder was 
Jesus." The "Imago" describes Jesuits as Angels on earth; the 
teachers and reformers of the world; the Protectors of the Church. 
Even Jesuit novices are sages, and Jesuit lay-brothers are philos- 
ophers. Every kind of extravagant praise is showered on the Society, 
and on all its works. 

The illustrations were in keeping with the text. The Order was 
symbolised by the Sun shedding its rays over the world, "and noth- 
ing is hid from the heat thereof," was quoted (from Scripture), as 
apropos. Another illustration, bearing the title "The Society is 
attacked," showed a crowd of men wearing fools caps, aiming ar- 
rows at the Sun! Underneath was written, "no arrow hits the 
? x Imago Primi Sceculi, S. 7. 

The MM of the Jesuit Order 97 

Martin Luther is referred to as "that monster of the Universe, 
that fatal plague, who had cast out all religion from his mind, 
and had divested himself not only of the garb of religion, but also 
of all its external forms, even the fear of sin." Ignatius faces him 
in the Arena and overcomes him. 

The Order reaped a bitter harvest as a result of its boastfulness 
and pride. It made frantic efforts to buy up all copies of the 
"Imago" It tried to explain away the contents of the volume as 
being the effusions of young Jesuits, but all to no purpose. It 
continued to be plagued by references to the "Imago" for over a 

One book, in particular, caused the Order much humiliation. It 
was written by Abbe de la Berthier, a Jansenist priest, and was en- 
titled A Parallel of the Doctrine of the Pagans with the Doctrine of 
the Jesuits. It was burned by the public executioner in Paris, and 
at the instance of the Jesuits its author was thrown into the Bastille. 
The book was however reprinted in Dublin, in 1726, and while in 
the Bastille the author was visited by the Cardinal de Rohan who was 
greatly impressed by his learning and high character. 

The "Parallel," dealt mainly with the laxity and lowmindedness 
of Jesuit moral teaching, as compared with the teachings of the 
Pagan moralists. Abbe Berthier addresses himself thus to the 
Jesuits, making abundant use of the Jesuit "Imago" 

"Since you have styled yourselves 'a Society not of men but of 
Angels and the Spirits of Eagles, the Lights of Mankind, the Pre- 
ceptors of all the world, the Reformers of Manners, who have 
banished vice and made virtue to flourish' . . . 'Good God/ you 
will say, 'shall such men be compared with philosophers, orators, 
poets? What! Shall we, who are a Company of Phoenixes, men 
eminent both for learning and wisdom, new Sampsons: shall we, 
who are the Guardian Angels and Protectors of the Church: we 
Generous Lions who came into the world armed with head-pieces, 
whose youngest novices are worth men of a- hundred years old, and 
whose brothers are more than philosophers. Shall we, in short 
who are the Lace of Gold, Blue, Silk, Purple and Scarlet, which 
the Scripture calls the Breastplate of Judgment, and who are worn 
upon the breast of the High-priest of the Jews; shall we be paralleled 
with the profane vulgar? ' 

98 The Jesuit Enigma 

''Don't exclaim so loud, My Fathers, moderate your complaints! 
You see already that I don't conceal your titles; I neither alter nor 
diminish them. I shall punctually exhibit the rest of them in due 
time and place, and will take care to omit none, for the most 
zealous of all your Panegyrists, let him be who he will, cannot be 
more impatient than I am to set you forth in your true colours and 
magnitude! 'Tis true I cannot help confessing to you that not- 
withstanding the high opinion you entertain of yourselves I tremble 
for you not a little. I fear very much that when the public has 
read your doctrine they will think your whole Society falls some- 
what short of what they are in your esteem, viz., C A Company of 
Angels,' 'Foretold by Isaiah,' in these words, 'Go forth, swift 
Messengers.' " Thus, the Order was given a good opportunity of 
reflecting on Abbe Berthier's thesis from Cicero, "it Is an ugly thing 
for a man to talk much about himself" 

We cannot of course deny that Berthier, being a Jansenist, and 
in consequence exceedingly hostile to the Order, was far from being 
an impartial judge as to the supposed arrogance in the mentality of 
the Order. But we can adduce as an authority one who was his- 
toriographer of the Society for a long period before the Suppression, 
Fr. Cordara, S.J., and who has ever been held in the highest es- 
teem in the Order. What he wrote about the mind of the Order 
at the end of the eighteenth century corresponds precisely with my 
own experience of the Order. Apparently, the Mind of the Order 
had not changed in the least. 

"Our Novice-masters," wrote Fr. Cordara in his Memoirs, 
"filled us with this spirit (pride), when they impressed on our tender 
minds so great an esteem of the Society. They represented ( admis- 
sion to the Society as an incomparable gift, a benefit of God than 
which there could be no greater. They told anecdotes of those who 
preferred the habit of the Society to the Tiara or Purple. It is vain 
that they afterwards combated pride after having sown such seeds 
of it. With this same spirit the youths are inspired during their 
studies, as no authors are praised except Jesuits; no books prescribed 
but such as are written by Jesuits; no examples of virtue quoted but 
such as are represented by Jesuits; so that these poor youths are easily 
convinced that the Society of Jesus excels all other Orders in learn- 
ing and holiness, and some weak-minded persons even believe that 

The Mind of the Jesuit Order 99 

everything praiseworthy done in the world is done under the aus- 
pices of our Society . . . and all the external circumstances fa- 
voured this pride and arrogance the magnificence of the buildings, 
the splendour of the churches, etc." 

The superiority complex of the Society will apparently never be 
exorcised out of it! It is an incurable malady in "Our wee little 
Society of Jesus" Jesuits will to the end go on thinking of the 
Order as "a splendid abiding place of science, piety and virtue"; 
"entire and blameless"; "breathing in the very highest degree piety 
and holiness." The fact that the first of these compliments was paid 
it by one of its own Generals; the second by more or less heretical 
(Gallican) clergy; while the third was, in the words of a Pope, 
"extorted from Clement XIII" matters little. The Society's 
corporate "Ego" is glorified exceedingly, and will ever remain so! 

There is a decidedly harsh ingredient in the Mind of the Order 
that deserves notice; an element that makes one take with reserve 
Fr. Pollen's profession, quoted above, that "the rule throughout is 
one of love inspired by wisdom." 

The Order, very early in its history, provided itself with the privi- 
lege of physically coacting its members, if needs, be with the aid of 
the civil arm; of throwing them into prison, and inflicting various 
kinds of physical punishment upon them. It could even send 
soldiers into the sacred precincts of the curia and haul forth "escap- 
ing" Jesuits. Was it the disinterested wisdom of Christ and Christ- 
like love that inspired such forcible measures? 

I think a fairly clear proof that the "wisdom" inspiring such 
things was not Christlike wisdom but self-interest is to be found 
in the Constitutions. 22 "There is no need to use any effort -to win 
back those who go away without 'permission if they had been con- 
sidered unsuitable for the Order" 

The Order of course protests, with a certain truth, but also with 
a certain untruth, that it has no 1 prisons or torture chambers. Never- 
theless there are, to this day, Jesuits imprisoned in lonely, out of the 
way residences where they pass their days in considerable misery, 
on account of their past misdeeds. Although the thumb-screw is 
not inflicted on such prisoners, they are submitted to hardships and 

22 Inst. 2a. IV. 4. 

ioo The Jesuit Enigma 

humiliations, more acute and more lasting than mere physical pain. 
Two years before I left the Order I barely escaped being im- 
prisoned or "confined to barracks" in a Jesuit house. My crime 
was to have read out prayers in the Irish language in a public place 
at the request of a few hundred relatives of political prisoners who 
were thought to be dying in jail. Because these political prisoners 
had espoused a cause that was not to the liking of the Society, or 
the Bishops, it was considered wrong to pray for them publicly, 
although they were at death's door. 

My Superiors were of course very angry with me for my im- 
prudence and so forth, and the rumour went abroad that I was to 
be imprisoned. This punishment was decided upon, but was not 
actually carried out. With this explanation as foreword, I shall give 
in full a letter, written to me on this occasion by a Jesuit Superior, 
a good fellow, and a wag, who was in sympathy with what I had 

19 Dec. 1923 
My Dear Doctor 

I was looking forward to your visit (to this house) but alas! it 
cannot be. I wrote to the Vice-Provincial as you advised me to. 
Following is his reply. "I regret I cannot approve." Alas! alas! 
I have a fellow feeling for all interned and untried prisoners, but 
as Wolfe Tone said, " 'tis but in vain for soldiers to complain." 
. . . Some of the Community wanted to know would there be any 
use sending you food and clothing for Xmas, but I assured them 
that I thought you hadn't yet reached that stage, and that the au- 
thorities would provide all you wanted in that respect! 

Yours sincerely in Christ, ( , 

I was not the only Jesuit to suffer penalties for showing sym- 
pathy with what Superiors considered the "wrong side," and I 
was inclined to suspect that my crime consisted, not so much in 
taking part in politics, which indeed I did not do, as in showing 
approval of the "innovating" ideas of the Irish Republicans. 

A passage from the "Diary" of Cardinal Manning 23 will show 
that Jesuits, if on the "right side" in politics are not interfered 

23 Cf. Life of Manning by Purcell, 1895, p. 364. 

The Mmd of the Jesuit Order 101 

with by Superiors. "Broechi told me," wrote Manning, "that the 
Jesuits are able and excellent in their duties as Priests (here in 
Rome), but that their politics are most mischievous; that if a 
collision should come with the people the effect would be terrible; 
they stick to the aristocracy, e.g., to the Dorias, the Princess being 
a Frenchwoman; that no day passes but they are there. The people 
call them Oscuri, Oscurantisti." 

The attitude of the Order towards external and public penances 
is not without interest. The medisevalist customs prevail un- 
changed. I doubt if thoughtful Jesuits still believe in the intrinsic 
value of the old floor-kissing exhibitionism, but it is still everywhere 
practised in the Society. Were one to glance through the window 
of a Jesuit Refectory at the beginning of dinner or supper on an 
ordinary Friday or on the vigil of a feast, one would see quite a 
number of Jesuits saying grace on their knees, with outstretched 
arms; 'kissing the floor; crawling around under the tables and kiss- 
ing the toes of those already seated at table. Others they would 
hear calling out in a loud voice that they were guilty of some 
breach of order or of charity. In some countries, though not here 
in the States, on such occasions the lights are lowered and the 
Fathers taking from their pockets small whips made of knotted 
cords, bare their shoulders and whip themselves for a few minutes 
in public. It is considered an attitude of obstinacy and independence 
to abstain from such penances. It is considered edifying to do 
them, and the Superior loves, as he stands at the head of the Re- 
fectory, to see the majority of his community crawling on the floor 
before him. At times he himself, in spite of his majesty, also 
performs a public penance to show that he is still human. 

The peculiar absolutist attitude of the Order enters into this 
matter of penances as into everything. Although there are no 
obligatory mortifications enjoined on all, 2 * yet each Jesuit is supposed 
to ask his Superior from time to time for permission to do such 
penances as he considers necessary for his spiritual progress. In the 
Rule there follow these words, "and whatever penances his Superiors 
may impose upon him for the same ends." The subject's judgment 
never counts for anything. He goes to the Superior and asks, thus, 
"Father, may I do such a penance? I have prayed over the matter, 

24 Cf. Summary Const. 4. 

IO2 The Jesuit Enigma 

and considered it carefully, and I believe it is what I need to help 
me spiritually." Then, as answer. "Yes, you may, but I consider 
that you require still more penance, so be good enough to add this 
further penance." The matter is then settled finally, for the 
Superior's judgment is the Will of God. It is this assumption of 
infallibility and inerrancy on the part of Superiors which is the g 
most marked characteristic of Jesuit government. 

According to the Constitutions, 25 Superiors in a sense assume the 
right of judging whether or not a subject has committed a "mortal 
sin," as they may, in case of "grave scandal to the Community," 
"forbid a subject to receive communion before he goes to confes- 
sion." It was on account of such assumptions that Fr. Tyrrell 
refers to the "mitigated quasi-infallibility of a miraculous special 
providence, as basis of inward obedience to Jesuit Superiors." 

In spite, however, of the dogmatism and absolutism inherent in 
the Jesuit mentality, there is a contrary element of hesitancy and 
fear of extreme measures. As regards penances, for instance, it is 
laid down: "The chastisement of the body must not be indiscreet or 
immoderate." As regards poverty, which must be "loved as a 
mother," Jesuits are only ordered "to experience at times y some 
of Its efects, according to the measure of holy discretion" This 
clinging to the via media; this dread of great heat or great cold; 
of great virtue or great vice; of too great activity lest the spirit 
suffer and of too great inactivity lest the "body take harm"; of too 
much truth and too much falsehood; of too great love of learning 
and too great ignorance; this worshipping of mediocrity, practicality 
and "discretion in all things," is peculiar to the mind of the Order, 
and has resulted in its becoming, in the words of Fr. Tyrrell, "a 
vast ecclesiastical militia of mentally and morally mediocre men." 

The Order is curiously out of touch with life, especially with 
that life called "modern thought." It follows its old way, self- 
admiring and self-satisfied, completely impervious to the criticisms 
that are directed with justice against it. Even in the region of 
education, on which it depends so largely for its claim <t;o public 
usefulness, it is blind to the obvious shortcomings of its system. 
To take an illustration from Fr. Hughes, 26 apropos of the training 

26 Cf. Epit. 185. 

26 Loyola, and the Educational System of the Jesuits, p. 267. 

The Mind of the Jesuit Order 103 

of teachers. Fr. Hughes referred to certain Bavarian State Laws 
which made it necessary for Jesuits to pass State Examinations be- 
fore teaching, as "harassing restrictions," which were utterly un- 
called for, as of course Jesuit scholarship and training was the 
most perfect in the world. Four years of special training, as re- 
quired by the State, would mean waste of time for Jesuits. "Jesuits 
are certainly . . . not to be confounded with young persons whd 
are merely prospecting some limited field of pedagogic activity as 
the scope of their lives." 

Probably nowhere in the modern world is there official authorisa- 
tion for teachers who are without technical training. The Society 
knows this, and probably recognises the wisdom of this attitude, 
but the Society will never admit that its members are like the rest 
of men and that they require technical training in teaching as much 
as others. 

We have here another manifestation of the Society's superiority 

Some few years ago I was talking to an Irish secular priest, a 
very cultured man, a noted preacher, and at the time a professor of 
theology in a large seminary. He told me that as a young priest, 
after his ordination, he felt a strong desire to enter the Jesuit 
Order. He had passed all his examinations brilliantly, and had 
hoped that he would be accepted by the Order as a Novice. He 
called at the Jesuit headquarters in Dublin, and had asked to see 
the Provincial. After some delay an elderly and severe-looking 
Jesuit entered the parlour where he was waiting, who told him 
that he had come down on behalf of the Provincial. "Now, what 
is your business?" asked the Jesuit. The young priest told his 
story, and how he desired to become a Jesuit. When he had 
finished the grave father stood up and courteously showed him the 
door, telling him that he considered it very presumptuous of him, a 
secular priest, to aspire to admission into the Society of Jesus. 

Secular priests are not of course always refused admission. But 
it is seldom that they are cordially received. It is thought, in the 
Society, that it is impossible to undo the inferior training that they 
have already received, and to infuse into them the characteristic 
spirit of the Order. They are never looked upon as "one of Ours," 

1 04 The Jesuit "Enigma 

and for the most part they remain "fish out of water," regretting 
that they ever sought admission. 

As I shall constantly return, during this volume, to the subject 
of the "Mind of the Order," I do not propose as yet to conclude 
my analysis. Perhaps I cannot do better, by way of a termination 
for this chapter, than to relate a peculiar and amusing incident, 
that is said to have taken place in a Jesuit House of Studies in 
Ireland. It concerned an elderly Father, Father R., who repre- 
sented a rather common type of Jesuit, the Jesuit who is proud 
of his blue blood. Father R. boasted much about the property he 
had once possessed and about the high social standing of his surviving 
relatives. Owing to his seniority he was sometimes left in charge of 
the house while the Superior was absent. On such occasions he 
displayed much fussiness and foolishness. Members of the com- 
munity whom he thought to be of gentle birth could get any kind 
of permission from him. The others he disdainfully repulsed. 

One evening, at supper time, a young Jesuit, a wag, was on 
duty to read. Father R. was presiding, as the Superior was away. 
The Refectory reading began as usual with the lives of deceased 
members of the Order; short panegyrics of a most eulogistic kind. 
Grace was said, and the Lector opened the book to read. He 
began, and the community gasped! He was reading the life of 
"the Venerable Father R." Father R. looked up with interest and 
curiosity; he did not know what else to do. Presently a look of 
satisfaction appeared on his face. 

"The venerable Father R." announced the Lector, "was born 
of very noble 'parentage. There fell to his portion as inheritance 
great wealth and vast estates. In his youth he conceived a 'passion 
for a lady of exalted rank. But a rival crossed his 'path and he was 
disappointed in his romantic hopes. Thereupon, with admirable 
courage and wisdom y he blew out his brains and entered the Society 
of Jesus!" 



THE secret service system of the Society of Jesus is not, as many 
people think, primarily directed towards prying into political and 
state affairs. Without doubt, Jesuits have from time to time been 
engaged in work of such kind in various countries, and to some 
extent they still continue to forward to Rome reports of a political 
character. But the chief occupation of Jesuit spies, "syndici," as 
they are called in the Constitutions, is to watch their fellow Jesuits, 
and to send "informationes" about them to the local Provincial, or 
to the General, at the Jesu in Rome. 

Spying, under the name of "manifestation of faults" by official 
and unofficial spies, is explained in broad outline to the young re- 
cruits who enter the Jesuit Noviceship. It is put before them as a 
holy and salutary religious practice. The reasons justifying it are 
said to be threefold. Firstly, progress in humility; secondly, prog- 
ress in spiritual perfection; and, thirdly, that the Superior may 
know them better/ Naturally, raw recruits, mostly merely boys, 
do not fully understand what is involved in the denunciatory system 
thus explained in a pious homily on Christian charity. Neither 
have they any conception what secret government means. They are 
asked if they are willing to have their faults manifested to Superiors 
and if they are willing in charity to manifest the faults of others, 
and they express their consent. They take it for granted that what 
they have been told is a "holy and salutary religious practice" is 
quite aboveboard and honourable. They readily agree to the sys- 
tem without understanding what it entails. If afterwards, as often 
happens, when they come to see its evils and dangers, they make any 
protest, they are reminded of their acceptance of the system when it 
was explained to them in the Noviceship. 

Jesuit denunciation is alluded to, though in a rather equivocal 

iC/. Ord. Gen. c. XV. u 


106 The Jesuit Enigma 

way, in the "Common Rules." 2 "He who knows about the griev- 
ous temptation of another must give notice of it to the Superior, 
that he, in his fatherly care and providence, may supply a suitable > 
remedy." It requires, however, a fairly full knowledge of the 
Constitutions to grasp all that is included under the word "tempta- 
tion," and to realise what dire penalties the Superior, in his "fath- 
erly care" may decide upon as "suitable remedies" 

The Society does not, of course, depend upon voluntary sources 
of information. It claims the right to call upon individual Jesuits, 
suspected of having useful information, to reveal all they know 
about a matter. Furthermore it has its own elaborate system of 
espionage, through which Headquarters is kept fully informed about 
every Jesuit in the Order. 

The system is general and particular. There is first of all the 
general system of official reports from Superiors, Consultors, 
Procurators, and from special Visitators sent from Rome by the 
General. Every Provincial must send each month to Rome a 
complete report upon the Province under his charge. Local Su- 
periors must report to Rome four times a year about all their 
subjects. Procurators proceed to Rome, periodically, carrying with 
them secret reports about members of their respective provinces. 
On various occasions "informatores," four in number, are secretly 
nominated, and ordered to send in secret reports about individual 
Jesuits. The General and his secretaries preserve these reports in 
archives, and for each Jesuit there is a pigeon hole at the Jesu, 
where all that is reported about him is recorded. Over and above 
these official reports, an immense number of voluntary reports are 
sent to Rome from each province by pious meddlers who spend a 
great part of their time writing, as they are privileged to do, de- 
nunciatory letters about fellow Jesuits, and about particular occur- 
rences. These letters are marked "soli" They go directly into 
the hands of the General, who acknowledges them personally in 
due time. 

We come now to the particular spy system of the Order, the sys- 
tem of "syndici." 

If one looks up the references given in the index of the Jesuit 
Constitutions, under the word "syndicus," one will find much of 

2 No. 20. 

Jesuit Espionage 107 

interest. In every house and college, and among every class of 
the Order, syndici are appointed to watch and send in secret re- 
ports to Superiors. 

Thus, we read: 8 "Let a syndicus be appointed in the house whose 
duty it will be to be on watch concerning external good order and 
behaviour in all things; noting anything that is unbecoming; 
referring the same to the Superior, or admonishing him who errs, 
if such a power be given him, in order that he may perform his 
office the more usefully in the Lord." The syndicus, appointed 
by the Rector to watch the Scholastics, must report on such among 
them as waste time. In colleges, one head syndicus is appointed 
whose business it is to keep the Rector, Provincial, and General 
informed about persons and things. He must be a man of great 
fidelity and judgment. In addition, the Rector is to have his 
particular spies in order that whatever may happen in any class, 
which may need attention, may be reported to him directly, and 
in .order that he may be kept informed about all the teachers, in- 
cluding even the lay-masters. The Rector himself is also watched. 
Once a year the head-syndicus must write to the General about him, 
and twice a year to the Provincial. 

Another kind of syndicus watches the Rector. He is the "socius 
collaterals" a kind of chaperon spy, of the Rector. 4 "To every 
Superior a socius collaterals may be assigned to serve as a support. 
He is not compelled to obey the Superior; but for the sake of others 
he is to show him outward respect. It is his business to report to 
the Provincial or General concerning the actions of the Superior 
to whom he is assigned." 

Under the old "Ratio," in Jesuit Colleges, masters secretly ap- 
pointed spies among the boys who sent in reports on the conduct 
of their schoolfellows. They were called "observatores" Other 
boy-spies, called "decuriones" were appointed who had among other 
duties, "to note down the number of times boys answered incor- 
rectly or neglected their work." "Each teacher," said the Ratio, 
"must have his own open and secret censors, and a chief censor, 
through whom he may make enquiries as to the moral character of 
the others" 

Perhaps the most invidious type of spying, instituted by the Jesuit 

8 Const. Ilia. c. I. 16. 4 Cf. Inst. II. 40. 

io8 The Jesuit Enigma 

Constitutions, is that described in the "Instructions for Confessors," 
issued by the Seventh General Congregation of the Order. The 
fifth section reads: "Let syndici be anointed . . . who shall watcfy 
and report to the Superior about long confessions (prolixis conf es- 
sionibus), and also about 'protracted conversations in the Church, 
outside confessions" There was therefore no place sacred, not 
even the church, against the activities of Jesuit spies. Nor was 
confession, which good taste as well as honourable principles, 
shelters from observation, immune from the watchful eyes of the 
official syndici of the Order. 

During prayer time in Jesuit houses, that is, three times a day, 
official spies called "Visitors" go from room to room, opening the 
doors without knocking in order to see if the Fathers are at their 
prayers. They have to keep records of the number of times each 
Father is absent at prayer time, or late for prayers. The "Visitors" 
report to the Superior at stated intervals. 

There is another method by which Superiors secure much secret 
information, which they use in the government of the Society. It 
is the "Manifestation of Conscience," about which I shall have 
much to say later. This manifestation is prescribed by rule. The- 
oretically it is a perfectly voluntary form of self -denunciation. 
But in practice it is something very different. Only those who have 
lived in religion can fully realise how even "Manifestation of Con- 
science" appertains to the Jesuit secret service system. 

Since the days of Ignatius, the Order has insisted on the immense 
importance of its "denunciatory" system. An official letter of the 
Bohemian Provincial, Fr. Bieczynski, at present in the Vienna 
Court Library, 5 illustrates the viewpoint of the Order: 

"How great a value we set on denunciation as the true eye of the 
Society must be known to everybody. Nor do those err who sup- 
pose that the greater part of the annoyances to which the Society 
is subject spring from neglect and disregard of denunciation. It is 
therefore particularly enjoined on all, as loving sohs of the Society, 
to pay due regard to a matter of such importance, and putting aside 
all considerations, in accordance with the spirit of our Institute, 
truly and faithfully to report to the Superior everything which 
they judge in the Lord should be reported. They may rest assured 

c Quoted by Count von Hoensbroech. 

Jesuit "Espionage 109 

that they are performing an office both grateful and advantageous 
to the welfare of the Society, if they zealously strive after that 
which the safety of our Order requires of all in this respect." 6 

At times of internal trouble in the Order, when, as during the 
"Spanish Rebellion," various factions were working against one an- 
other, denunciation leads to untold abuse. Writing of this period 
of Jesuit History, Ranke 7 had to refer to the "system of the most 
abominable espionage and tale-bearing," and to the "disorders at- 
tendant on secret accusations." "It was made," he adds, "the in- 
strument of concealed ambition and of hatred wearing the mask 
of friendship." He quotes from the brilliant Jesuit theologian, 
Fr. Mariana, himself one of the "conspirators": "Were any one 
to read over the records sent in to Rome," wrote Mariana, "he 
would perhaps not find a single upright man, at least among us 
who are at a distance. . . . Universal distrust prevails." There 
was none that would have uttered his thoughts without reserve even 
to his own brother. 

The Venerable Bishop Palafox, in one of his famous letters to 
Innocent X, refers not only to Jesuit secrecy, but to the system of 
"pernicious denunciation" in the Order: 

"What other Order has Constitutions which are not allowed to 
be seen, privileges which it conceals, and secret rules and every- 
thing relating to the government of the Order hidden behind a 
curtain? The rules of every other Order may be seen by all the 
world. . . . But among the Jesuits there are even some of the 
Professed who do not know the statutes, privileges, and even the 
rules of the Society, although they are pledged to observe them. 
Therefore they are not governed by their Superiors according to 
the rules of the Church, but according to certain concealed statutes 
known by the Superior alone, and- according to certain secret and, 
'Pernicious denunciations, which leads to a large number being driven 
from the bosom of the Society" 8 

Seeing that there is so much reporting and spying in the Order, 
what, it may be asked, becomes of the confidences that Jesuits 
make to one another? Above all, what attitude does the Society 

6 Cod. 13620, p. 10. 

7 Hist . of Papacy, II, p. 82. 

8 June 8, 1649. Quoted by Hoensbroech, II, p. 7. 

1 1 o The Jesuit Enigma 

take with regard to secrets of conscience revealed, outside confes- 
sion, by one Jesuit to another, in order to secure advice from tne 
latter? Does the Society pry into such professional secrets, and 
insist on being told what was confidentially revealed? 

The answer to this question is to be found in the thirty-second 
decree of Sixth General Congregation. It is an equivocal answer: 

"If one whose advice has been sought for is in doubt for some 
special and grave reasons, whether or not he should denounce to the 
Superior something which he heard in secrecy (namely, told to him 
with a view to obtain advice), he should carefully study the Doc- 
tors (of theology) in order that he may act, as is fitting in so grave 
a matter, prudently and cautiously." 

Who doubts but that he will find among the Doctors some who 
through casuistic reasoning will allow him to tell the Superior all 
he has learned in confidence? 

How pitiful therefore is the situation of a Jesuit who is in 
trouble and who needs advice? If he consults a brother Jesuit, 
all that he says, even in confidence, may be repeated to the Superior. 
And he has no one else except a brother Jesuit to consult, for his 
rule absolutely forbids him to seek advice from any one outside 
the Order! 

The Order presumes to restrict the natural right of a Jesuit 
subject to his good name, although such a right is thought by ordi- 
nary folk to be inalienable, and more fundamental than any claim 
the Society could set up. The. Society of Jesus teaches that in 
accepting the principle of denunciation, Jesuit subjects "thereby re- 
nounce their right to their 'personal good name and- refutation In 
so jar as such a right stands in the way of denunciation." * We 
shall see presently to what extremes the Society pushes the theory 
thus adopted. 

There are three crimes in particular that the Society insists must 
be at once denounced: sins of the flesh; the sowing of discord; and 
conspiring against the Constitutions. In general, any Jesuit who 
knows that a fellow Jesuit has committed any crime, threatening 
a third party or the common good, is bound to denounce him imme- 
diately. The Superior is supposed to guard in secrecy the name 

9 "Eo ipso Nostros cedere cuique juri famse quod huic manifestation! 
obstare possit," 32nd deer. 6th Gen. Cong. 

Jeswt Espionage in 

of his informant, but if he prudently judges that he cannot deal 
with the situation unless he act as a judge, he can compel his in- 
formant to take oath and sign an official judicial denunciation. 

The twentieth Common rule, it will be remembered, gives no 
hint about anything of this kind. It speaks only of "fatherly care," 
and paternal denunciation. And certainly in my Noviceship I never 
heard a word about sworn denunciations made under compulsion. 
But as one digs deeper into the Constitutions one finds that "fatherly 
care" assumes very sinister aspects. One sees more and more clearly 
how much the Order depends on what Fr. Bieczynski called "the 
eye of the Society," and what Bishop Palafox referred to when 
he spoke of the Society being governed "by concealed statutes known 
to the Superior alone and according to certain secret and pernicious 

It must be remembered that the government of the Order is 
monarchical and absolute. The General rules like the Czar of 
old. All executive authority is derived from him and his position 
is practically impregnable. He can with a word make or mar the 
fortunes of any Jesuit in the Order, and it is the tradition in the 
Society for' the General to rule autocratically. It is true that he is 
supposed to have in view "the spiritual progress of his subjects and 
the common good of the Order" ("profectus spiritualis subditorum 
et bonum commune religionis"), but it is his own personal judg- 
ment, not the vote of a chapter, that is his guide. Among the 
privileges that he enjoys is that of dismissing subjects, unheard, and 
without judicial trial. The Revised Constitutions state that "it is 
not necessary to observe a judicial form in dismissing subjects, 
which enactment the Holy See has confirmed, subsequently to the 
New Code of Canon Law." The last clause refers to one of the 
many exemptions that the Society secured from the general law of 
the Church, governing Religious Orders j s a law which insisted on 
judicial forms being observed in the dismissal of religious from 
their Orders. 

The existence of such a power in the Jesuit General is all the 
more galling, in view of the fact that he governs through secret 
information. A Jesuit is liable to be denounced falsely by a 
brother Jesuit, and as a consequence dismissed, without having an 
opportunity to prove his innocence. No more dire form of abso- 

H2 The Jesuit Enigma 

lutism existed in any Bourbon court. Furthermore, unless, as af 
parently it does, the Society assumes that it has the divinej preroga 
tive of inerrancy, nothing can justify it in using such a privileg 
as that of dismissal without trial. 

The procedure of secret denunciation, with its possible effect! 
are laid down in the Ordinations of Generals, which belong to th 
Constitutions. From the second chapter onwards, in the Ordination 
dealing with denunciation of crime (manifestatio delicti), th 
Order has apparently in view the sudden secret dismissal of mem 
bers, without judicial trial. 

First, the Superior is warned to keep secret the name of the in 
formant from others, unless he should consent to have his nam 
quoted. Sometimes, however, he will be obliged, as we have seen 
to consent to the use of his name. Secondly, care is to be taken, a 
far as circumstances permit, to avoid injuring the reputation of th' 
accused. However, in the case of great good, his crime may h 
made known to others, for the Superior may consider it right t< 
warn the accused, and to reprehend him, in the presence of tw( 
others, as witnesses. He may also deem it wise to seek advice fron 
others about what steps should be taken. Again, the reputation oJ 
the accused must not stand in the way of other Superiors' beinj 
informed about the matter. The informant is obliged to conseni 
to such usage of the information he imparts. 

Again, the Superior may, for the improvement of the accused i 
give him secret warnings and reprehensions; terrify him witi 
threats (terrere minis); set spies to watch him; change him from 
place to place; remove him from office; provided always in sc 
doing he does not violate the secret. This he must avoid doing by 
putting forward some plausible reasons as a pretext for the treat- 
ment he is meting out to the accused. 

The Superior may refer in public sermons or reprehensions, in 
a general way, to crimes of the nature committed, supposedly by 
the accused, provided he ask the informant's permission and safe- 
guard his name. 

Finally, the Superior relying on such secret information may 
proceed to the dismissal of the accused from the Order, "not, how- 
ever, in such a way that the crime which has been secretly reported 
to him may be made known to others in kind or species; but 'as 


1 1 2 The Jesuit JLnigma 

lutism existed in any Bourbon court. Furthermore, unless, as ap- 
parently it does, the Society assumes that it has the divine preroga- 
tive of inerrancy, nothing can justify it in using such a privilege 
as that of dismissal without trial. 

The procedure of secret denunciation, with its possible effects, 
are laid down in the Ordinations of Generals, which belong to the 
Constitutions. From the second chapter onwards, in the Ordinations 
dealing with denunciation of crime (manifestatio delicti), the 
Order has apparently in view the sudden secret dismissal of mem- 
bers, without judicial trial. 

First, the Superior is warned to keep secret the name of the in- 
formant from others, unless he should consent to have his name 
quoted. Sometimes, however, he will be obliged, as we have seen, 
to consent to the use of his name. Secondly, care is to be taken, as 
far as circumstances permit, to avoid injuring the reputation of the 
accused. However, in the case of great good, his crime may be 
made known to others, for the Superior may consider it right to 
warn the accused, and to reprehend him, in the presence of two 
others, as witnesses. He may also deem it wise to seek advice from 
others about what steps should be taken. Again, the reputation of 
the accused must not stand in the way of other Superiors' being 
informed about the matter. The informant is obliged to consent 
to such usage of the information he imparts. 

Again, the Superior may, for the improvement of the accused, 
give him secret warnings and reprehensions; terrify him with 
threats (terrere minis) ; set spies to watch him ; change him from 
place to place; remove him from office; provided always in so 
doing he does not violate the secret. This he must avoid doing by 
putting forward some plausible reasons as a pretext for the treat- 
ment he is meting out to the accused. 

The Superior may refer in public sermons or reprehensions, in 
a general way, to crimes of the nature committed, supposedly by 
the accused, provided he ask the informant's permission and safe- 
guard his name. 

Finally, the Superior relying on such secret information may 
proceed to the dismissal of the accused from the Order, "not, how- 
ever, in such a way that the crime which has been secretly reported 
to him may be made known to others in kind or species; but as 


Praepositus Provincialis Provincise Marylandiae-Neo 
Eboracensis Soc. Jesu omnibus quorum interest, N et 
in quorum notitiam hae Htterse venerint, saTutem in 
Domino. ' , 

Pidem facimus, quod... 

, -^ ; -.^,~ 

\ ' quamvis in Spcietate nostra aliquamdiu vixerit. pro- 


I fessionem tamen noti emisit, quin potius, potestate facta 

ab Adm. R.-P. N. General i.. 
&&...',...iJLtefjfajtj l ft....l?j.fc*.j liber quidem a votorum , 
obligatione per nos dimissus est; subjacet tamen dis-,, 
positionibus Decreti "Auctis-admodum" S. Congrega-/ 
.tionis EE. et RR. die 4 Nov; 1892 

In cujus rei testimonium eidem.. 

has patentes litteras inanii nostra subscriptas et officii.' 
nostri sigillo munitas dedinnis. '. ~ 




Jesuit Espionage 113 

though the dismissal were for other faults, coming to his knowledge 
from other sources; faults of a kind calculated to appear in the 
judgment of others a sufficient reason for the dismissal." 

There is, surely, guile enough, equivocation enough, and decep- 
tion and tyranny enough in all this to justify one in thinking that 
the government of the Jesuit Order resembles very little Christ's 
government of His disciples. Yet all this is called "paternal de- 
nunciation" ! What is particularly interesting is the delicate atten-' 
tion and courtesy shown to the informant. His permission is asked 
for this, that, and the other thing. He is flattered and consulted. 
He is protected against any inconvenience lest he should be unwill- 
ing to play the informant again. Not infrequently he is favoured 
with a special letter of thanks from the General ! 

Informers are held in the highest esteem in the Order, that is, 
if they are efficient and accurate informers. They are thought to 
be loyal to the Order, true children of Saint Ignatius, and zealous 
about the Order's highest good. They are in due time promoted, 
and they enjoy the confidence of Superiors. If, on the other hand, 
some consider it petty, mean, degrading, and the source of far 
more harm 'than good, to spy upon their neighbours, they are looked 
upon as obstinate, independent, indifferent to ;the interests of the 
Order, and as being bereft of the true spirit of the Society. 

It is now perhaps time to trace from its beginnings the Jesuit train- 
ing in Espionage, bearing always in mind that the Society repudiates 
the term "spying," and clings to the word "manifestation," and 
to the idea that manifestation is a work of love and charity, and a 
useful means in the attainment of spiritual perfection. 

From the first novices receive instruction in a peculiar form of 
examination of conscience, called the "Particular Examen." It 
consists in a close, and continuous self-scrutiny with respect to some 
particular fault to be corrected or virtue sto be acquired. Results 
have to be marked down twice daily in a little book. This "Par- 
ticular Examen" is the spiritual background for spying; it is in itself 
a pious spying on the "old Adam" within one. 

Next novices are given "admonitors" and taught how to "ad- 
monish" others. An "admonitor" has the duty of closely watching 
his victim and of pointing out to him all his faults, and of reporting 
the same to the Superior (the Master of Novices). The next step 

H4 The Jesuit Enigma 

in the training consists in daily reports that each novice has to 
make to a head-novice on what he has observed against good order 
or against the Noviceship customs. Names of delinquent novices 
are asked for and given. There are also two public lessons in 
spying or manifesting given each week. One is called the "Socius 
Conference"; the other is called the "Quarter of Charity" (or 
"Lapidatio," a Stoning). At the former convention, the Master 
of Novices' Assistant or "Socius," presides. He calls upon one 
novice after another to reveal any infringements of external rules 
that he has observed, without, however, mentioning names. The 
latter convention is much more serious, and is held under the direc- 
tion of the Master himself. At it, some novice is called upon to 
kneel in the centre of the hall, and then, each novice in turn re- 
ports publicly every fault that he has observed in the unfortu- 
nate novice who is being "stoned." The ordeal is unquestionably 
very terrible. "Please, Father, I noticed that Br. X. eats ravenously 
at table. He seems to forget to close doors after him when leaving 
rooms. He bites his nails. He makes sarcastic remarks about the 
holy customs and pious things. (Here the other novices shudder.) 
Also, I noticed that he seeks the company of some novices more 
than of others. He does not seem to relish pious conversation. I 
have also noticed that he is inclined to glance about when in the 
chapel, and he makes references to subjects of conversation for- 
bidden by the customs. He seems impatient if novices do not listen 
to what he has to say in recreation. That is all I noticed, Father." 
Such tales are told with endless variety by the novices, one after 
another, and when all are finished, the Master sometimes winds up 
with a severe reprehension or threat. 

It may be said that since such spying is done in the open, and 
since it affords a certain amount of useful criticism to the novice 
who is being stoned, that it is justifiable! But such a defence of 
the "Quarter of Charity" does not meet the chief objection to it. 
Apart from the fact that it is too humiliating and degrading an 
ordeal for any boy to have such personal criticisms offered in public, 
such stone-throwing is a lesson in the crudest and vulgarest form of 
spying, and it dulls the novices' sense of the rights of others to their 
good names. It fosters the habit of watching others and reporting. 
It awakens a kind of emulation or rivalry in spying. For, at least, 

Jesuit Espionage 115 

in my time it was quite clear that some novices sought to shine 
before the Master by-tfie smartness and variety of their criticisms 
of other novices. 

Subsequently, in the Order, there are no "Quarters of Charity," 
but the habits learned in the Noviceship have the result premedi- 
tated by the Order, and many Jesuits, as a matter of course, run 
to their Superiors to tell them all they have "noticed" about their 
brother Jesuits. They feel they have the right to do so, and they 
feel no shame at all in so doing. They no longer care about the 
"high motives" that stimulate the poor, hysterical novices, in their 
well-meant tale-telling. They frequently spy on fellow Jesuits 
in order to "down them," or in order to prevent them from getting 
some office that they covet for themselves or their special friends. 

Novices in their pious fervour not only agree to be "manifested" 
to Superiors by others, but they also sign papers giving the Order 
power to open and read all letters coming to them, and all letters 
that they write. In signing such papers they sign away far more 
than they realise, and most people will agree that it is unfair and 
even unjust to ask novices in the "exalted" mental state in which 
they are during their days of exotic fervour, to abandon all their 
sacred rights to privacy of correspondence. At least the signing 
of such papers should be deferred until young Jesuits realise what 
it entails. 

Needless to say, the fact that Superiors open and read incoming 
letters from parents, brothers, sisters and friends, and letters out- 
going to them, puts an end to all warm and loving confidences. 
Many a Jesuit novice blushes as he reads a letter from his mother, 
already opened and read. He is tortured by shame when he thinks 
that a stranger should have perused and perhaps laughed at the 
little family intimacies contained in his mother's letter. He re- 
solves at the first opportunity to beg his mother never to write to 
him in an intimate way again. And in his own letters to his home 
he is most careful to avoid alluding to the little family affairs that 
he is longing to discuss. 

Apart from the grave question of the ethics of the opening of 
incoming letters, the whole practice of deliberate and direct inter- 
ference with subjects' correspondence reveals to what extent the 
Order considers itself wholly owner and possessor of its subjects' 

1 1 6 The Jesuit "Enigma 

body and soul. No husband, bound to his wife by an indissoluble 
and sacramental bond, which in the eyes of the Christian Church 
makes of two one in the flesh, would presume to claim the right to 
interfere so intimately with her inner life, her natural rights and 
privileges, as does the Jesuit Order in the case of its subjects. The 
Society, as it were, stretches forth its restless hand, pushes it into 
the vitals of its subject, searches here and there, drags this part 
and that into the open, squeezes and pulls what it will, and stuffs 
up the gaping hole it makes with anything it finds ready to hand, 
or else leaves it open and bleeding. 

We now come to the peculiarly Jesuit institution called "Mani- 
festation of Conscience." 

"Whoever wishes to follow in the Lord this Society, and to 
persevere in the same to the greater glory of God, must under 
the seal of confession, or secrecy, or in any way which pleases him 
and affords him greater consolation, lay open his conscience with 
great humility and charity, concealing nothing in which he shall 
have offended the Lord of all things. He must give a full account 
of his whole past life to his Superior, or at least of all events of 
greater moment . . . and each six months he must again give an 
account of conscience beginning from the last which he gave. He 
must not conceal any temptation from the Spiritual Father, or his 
Confessor, or the Superior; nay more, he must rejoice to lay his 
whole soul completely open before them. He must reveal not only 
his defects but also his penances, mortifications, devotions and all 
his virtues, desiring with a pious will to be directed by them lest 
he turn aside from virtue; and refusing to be guided by his own 
judgment unless in so far as it is in accord with the judgment of 
those whom he has over him in the place of Christ, Our Lord." 10 

The subject therefore must, according to rule, reveal his whole 
soul, past and present, with all its weaknesses and virtues, to the 
Superior, or whomsoever the Superior appoints. This practice has 
always been insisted upon in the Order and is regarded as one of 
the unchangeable substantials of the Constitutions. Acquaviva ex- 
pressed the mind of the Society when he called dislike for manifes- 
tation "a very pernicious disease" (morbus valde perniciosus). 
Other religious Orders copied the Jesuit rule of Manifestation, and 

10 Summ. Constit. 40, 41. 

Jesuit Espionage 117 

Reverend Mothers of Convents, in particular, apparently revelled 
in having their subjects reveal all their sins and temptations to 
them. It made of the Reverend Mothers, "Father Confessors," 
and wonderful was the advice and spiritual direction that they gave! 
Finally so much abuse resulted in the course of time from Ignatian 
"Manifestation," that the Church had to interfere and forbid it. 
Even in the Society it had led to grave abuses. But the Society 
refused to submit to the Church's decree of abolishment, and se- 
cured a special dispensation from the Pope for its continuance. 
Hence we read in the Revised Constitutions (Epit., 1924): "Mani- 
festation of Conscience must be made to the Superior. This pre- 
scription has been approved and confirmed by the Holy See, subse- 
quently to the New Code" (of Canon Law, which forbade it). 

When novices, and indeed young Jesuits make their "Mani- 
festations" to the Superior, "under secrecy" (for the seal of con- 
fession is out of the question in such long talks that touch on all 
kinds of topics), they are far from realising that the Superior con- 
siders himself free to use the information he elicits for the purpose 
of government. He must, of course, keep secret the name of his 
subject; and guard his identity from becoming known, but he may 
make good use of what he learns. Let us suppose, for instance, that 
the Brother in charge of the cellar, manifests, under secrecy, that 
in the past, when in the world, he used to get drunk. He will prob- 
ably find within a few days that he has been appointed to work in the 
garden and that some other Brother has been placed in charge of 
the cellar. Or if a novice manifests that he receives " great con- 
solation" from the conversation and company of some other novice 
who is helping him at his work, he will find that his consoling com- 
panion is put to work somewhere else. Later on in the Order, in 
bigger things, the knowledge gained in s manifestation is freely used 
in government. We can therefore see, in the first place, how mani- 
festing pertains to indirect and direct spying, and in the second 
place we can understand why the Society clings so tenaciously to its 
practice. Plain tlnd manly Jesuits detest "manifestation," and 
if forced to manifest, they do so in a perfectly perfunctory way. 
But they of course are looked upon as being sick from "the very 
pernicious disease" of Acquaviva. 

On one occasion I had as Superior an ex-Provincial, to whom I 

1 1 8 The Jesuit Enigma 

had to "manifest," and who had somehow got to know, probably 
through confession, that I had been witness of a very grave crime 
of a certain Jesuit, still in the Order. I had always kept this matter 
absolutely secret, and always will, but from the standpoint of the 
Rule it was one of the things that I was bound to manifest. I 
see now that had I obeyed the Rule I should have been forced 
forthwith to sign a sworn attestation and the Jesuit in question 
would have been dismissed. The ex-Provincial, who was an in- 
curable meddler and equivocator, must have looked forward with 
pleasure to my "manifestation." He was of course handicapped 
as regards the knowledge that he possessed; being derived from 
confession he was restricted in his use of it; but he counted on 
being able to use it at least so far as to manoeuvre me into denounc- 
ing the guilty Jesuit. 

First, he prompted me to talk of matters connected with the erring 
Jesuit. He led the conversation back, again and again, to the region 
of the occurrence. He twisted and wriggled, giving me openings 
again and again to make the denunciation! Short of flagrantly 
breaking the seal of confession that bound him, he did everything 
humanly possible to draw the much desired testimony from me on 
which he had counted! But, thank God, he failed, failed utterly, 
for never a word crossed my lips. - 

Then he became angry and sullen. He seized some silly pretext 
for accusing me of obstinacy and for lack of "the spirit of the 
Society." He threatened me with dire consequences for being "self- 
willed"; he foretold an evil end for me; and finally dismissed me 
humiliated but victorious. Ever after he persecuted me as far as 
he could, and fixed upon me what in the mind of the Order is the 
very sinister stigma of being "independent." 

Jesuits have often been accused of making too free a use of the 
knowledge that they gain in confession. Thus, M. de Canaye, 
the French Ambassador at Venice, under Henri IV of France, 
wrote to his King, June 6, 1606: 

"Jesuit documents discovered at Bergamo and Padua prove that 
the Jesuits made use of Confession in order to gain information 
as to the capacity, disposition, and mode of life of the penitents, 
and the chief affairs of the towns in which they live; and that 
they have such an exact acquaintance with all these details that 

Jesuit Espionage 119 

they know the strength, means, and circumstances of every state 
and every family." 

This accusation of M. de Canaye is of course rather vague, 
but that made by Marie Therese against her Jesuit Confessor, for 
revealing things told him in confession, was far from being vague. 
Apart, however, from incidents of such kind, the Jesuits laid them- 
selves open to the charge of misusing confessional knowledge in 
various ways. 

One notable incident is referred to in the Eighth General Con- 
gregation: "As it might be advantageous to appoint confessors as 
Superiors no change need be made in this respect; honourable men 
would not make a wrongful use of the secrets learnt in confession." 
Now, this declaration was the answer of the Order to the request 
of Pope Innocent X y that the exceedingly dangerous and objec- 
tionable 'practice of appointing as a Superior one who already as 
Confessor held all the secrets of the Community should be abolished. 
The Order refused to obey the Pope's wish, and naturally laid 
itself open to suspicion. 

There is still further Jesuit documentation for the accusation 
that enemies of the Order formulate. Acquaviva, in one of his 
ordinances, states: ce ln annual reports what relates to confessions 
should be omitted." This is ambiguous, but not so the similar 
decree of a Provincial of the Upper German Province: "Facts 
which are known only through the Confessional are not to be 
quoted in annual reports." These proMbitions were issued, no 
doubt, because of the existence of abuses in the matter. 

Most people would consider also, as an infringement of the 
secrecy which is supposed to surround confession, the setting of 
syndici to watch 'long confessions," to which Jesuit practice I have 
referred above. 

The Jesuit attitude towards the confessions of its members has 
seemed to many to be instigated by a very questionable and un- 
Catholic spirit. Until recently, Jesuits could only confess to mem- 
bers of their own Order, and even then they could exercise no 
freedom of choice as regards confessors. They had to confess to 
the confessor appointed by the Sufieria>r } a man whom they perhaps 
despised and distrusted. Furthermore, if, when away from his own 
house, a Jesuit confessed his sins to the confessor of another house, 

I2b The Jesuit "Enigma / 

on his return he had to make this confession all over again. "Who- 
ever confesses to another than his own confessor (appointed by 
the Superior), must afterwards as far as he can remember open 
his whole conscience to his own confessor, so that the latter being 
ignorant of nothing that appertains to it, may the better help him 
in the Lord." Such a rule, insisting on the retelling of sins already 
forgiven, is not paralleled by any law of the. Church. 

Jesuits were by rule bound to confess at times appointed by the 
Superior. They were not even free to consult their own spiritual 
interests in this matter. And if they refused to confess they were 
to be starved into so doing. 11 

"Besides the right manner of confessing, let the time of con- 
fessing be also decided upon, and if they do not confess within this 
time, let bodily food be denied them until they eat their spiritual 
food." Here assuredly the hand of the Society tugs at the spiritual 
vitals of its subjects! 

The greatest hardship, however, of Jesuits, regarding confession, 
was felt when they committed what were called reserved sins. 
These reserved sins are certain grave sins (they may belong to any 
species) that the Superior decides to reserve to himself for absolu- 
tion. He, in his omnipotence, could ^decide that it was necessary 
or useful for him to have a knowledge about the commission of 
these sins (quos ab eo cognosci necessarium videbitur aut valde 
conveniens). He justified himself in reserving such sins on the 
grounds that if he had knowledge of how often they were com- 
mitted, and in what manner they were committed, he could the 
more easily apply a remedy and preserve those committed to his 
charge from all occasion of harm. 

Needless to say, such legislation approached very near to the 
using of confessional knowledge f or ^governmental purposes. If 
the Superior found that certain Fathers of his community were 
paying visits to ladies of the demi-monde, he could of course send 
word to the city police to have the city cleaned up, and so forth. 
It was an intolerable burden on Jesuits to have to go to their 
Superior, who had complete control of their life and movements, 
to seek absolution. The horrors of such situations were so great, 
" Cf . Decl. q. Const. Ill, c. I. 

Jesuit Espionage 121 

and the resultant evils so immense, that finally the Church stepped 
in and abolished all such legislation in Religious Orders. 

That the evils in the Society, from its code of laws regulating 
confessions of its subjects, were very great, is shown by a protest 
made by a Spanish Father, Hernando de Mendoza, in 1615, to 
the Seventh General Congregation. His protest of course fell on 
deaf ears, but it was none the less spirited. 

"Because the Superiors reserve to themselves certain sins, some 
persons remain for years in a state of deadly sin and commit thou- 
sands of sacrileges, without daring to confess to the Superior, or 
their usual confessor, because the Superior does not give his consent 
to absolution, or when he gives it makes many difficulties, and 
asks so many questions that the secret of confession runs great 
risk of being broken. The 'practice of letting Superiors rule their 
subordinates by means of Confession (must be abolished}. . . . 
Also the obligation to make a general confession every six months; 
for if a sin has ever been fully confessed there is no obligation to 
confess it again. . . . The seal of confession must be respected." 12 

The spirit of espionage which is inculcated in the Noviceship 
begins to manifest itself in young Jesuits when, a few years later, 
they find themselves teaching and prefecting in Jesuit colleges. It 
takes the form of excessive supervision over the boys. All day 
long the boys are closely watched; in the classroom, playground, 
refectory, dormitory, and even in the chapel. One of the rules of 
the Ratio, for the Prefect of Gymnasium, enacts that "during the 
whole schooltime he should be stationed in the corridor or in a 
room from which he can overlook the boys." 
^ At Clongowes College, the Jesuit schobl where I was educated, 
the supervision was exceedingly severe, although much less severe 
than in Jesuit colleges on the continent of Europe. There were 
prefects who had the spy-mania; who used to piece together torn 
bits of paper to discover what boys had been writing "notes." Some 
of the prefects searched the boys' clothes while they were out on 
walks, reading whatever they found in the pockets. The letters 
that the younger boys wrote were read by their masters before being 
posted. On one occasion, a boy, a friend of mine, and one of the 

12 Quoted by Hoensbroech, I, 365. 

122 The Jesuit Enigma , 

seniors in the house, was exceedingly insulted when a Jesuit prefect 
called his attention to the fact that he had delayed longer than was 
customary at a urinal. 

The boys were of course aware of this spying and resented it 
very much. They took it for granted that every Jesuit was ipso 
facto a spy, unless they had proof to the contrary. Boys who were 
friendly with masters were looked upon with suspicion and dis- 
liked, on the grounds that they were likely to give away the other 
boys. Some of them were openly called "spies." 

At Clongowes there were, however, some "decent men," among 
the masters, Jesuits who would not spy, whom we admired and 
trusted, and for this reason the irritation caused by spying did not 
banish kindly relations between boys and the community. But the 
system had undoubtedly an evil effect on the boys' training. Spying 
suggests distrust, and being distrusted awakens the worst latent 
tendencies of character. 

In Jesuit colleges in Belgium, and elsewhere in Europe, the ex- 
tremes to which espionage goes are appalling. Boys are under the 
closest scrutiny from the moment they get up in the morning until 
they are asleep at night. In the chapel, where they are told to 
worship God in spirit and truth, the watchful eyes of eight or ten 
Jesuits are upon them all the time. Belgian Jesuits have told me 
that if boys are left together, without supervision, even for a few 
moments, there is sure to be immorality. If such is the mind of 
Belgian Jesuits about boys, it would be impossible to have adequate 
sympathy for the tortuous humiliations they must undergo at the 
hands of their educators. 

But can one blame the young Jesuit for his attitude of distrust 
towards others? Is he himself not spied upon and distrusted? He 
has to submit to a hundred rules that are patent professions of 
distrust. For instance, the eleventh Common Rule lays down: "No 
one may so close the door of his room that it cannot be opened from 
outside ; nor may any- one keep a box or anything else locked with- 
out the permission of his Superior." He is under surveillance when 
he goes out; he is spied upon at prayers; his outgoing and incoming 
letters are read; and if he enters another scholastic's room, he must 
leave the door open all the time he is inside! These are but a few 
of the "I don't trust you" rules under which he lives. Can he 

Jesuit Espionage 123 

be blamed therefore for regarding distrust of others as the normal 

It is recorded in Camara's life of Ignatius Loyola that "he took 
the greatest pleasure in hearing all the details about the lives of his 
brethren, and used to have letters read, especially those from India, 
two or three times, and wanted to know what his brethren ate, how 
they slept, etc., and once he broke out, c Oh, I should like to know 
how many fleas bite my Fathers at night.' " 

This interest of Ignatius in his brethren would have been ad- 
mirable if it were as ingenuous as Camara would have one believe. 
But one who knows the reverse side of Ignatius' character would 
be inclined to suspect that he was pricked to interest in details by 
a certain anxiety to learn the foibles, grumblings, and indiscretions 
of his Fathers. Personally, I found in the Order, among the 
"grave fathers," the same kind of anxiety to know all about the 
doings of their brethren, but I soon began to notice that they were 
far less interested in things that were edifying than in things that 
were indiscreet, or smacking of scandal. 

One would gain a very false impression of life in the Order if 
one did not take account of the very great misery of soul that the 
widely expanded spy system of the Order engenders. The sense 
of insecurity; the feeling of being watched; the heartrending despair 
at never being trusted even when doing one's best; the disgust at 
the respect and honour paid to petty, backboneless men who crawl 
into the favour of Superiors by telling tales on others; the shelving 
of honourable and independent men who abhor the meanness of 
spying; the gnawing thirst for life among honourable and whole- 
some-minded men who attend to their own business and allow others 
to go their way in peace; these and suchlike feelings are part of 
an average man's stream of consciousness during his life in the 
Society. 4 

On many occasions I was amazed to find how swift and accurate 
was the information gleaned by Superiors through their syndici. 
There were times when I snatched at a tempting infringement of 
rule, and when I covered up all traces of my wickedness as carefully 
and as completely as I could, so completely indeed that I thought 
it impossible that Superiors could ever "find out," and yet again 
and again they did "find out," and I was hauled over the coals. 

124 The Jesuit Enigma 


On one occasion, to give an example of a hundred similar inci- 
dents, I was living in a very large community, so large indeed that 
it would have been impossible, so I argued, for the Superior to 
remember a certain insignificant duty that I had to perform once a 
fortnight. The duty was to preach a little sermon at a certain 
Catholic Club in the city. This duty meant that I had to be absent 
from the community supper, and I was supposed to get an early 
supper instead. 

This particular evening, being somewhat bored by an overdose 
of study of theology, I resolved to omit the early supper and to 
visit my mother on the way to the Club and have tea with her. I 
had no permission for so doing, but I counted on "not being caught." 

All went well, and I was congratulating myself on having pulled 
off my agreeable escapade successfully, when a note reached me 
from the Superior, to the effect that he wanted to see me at once. 
He had hardly opened his mouth when I saw that he knew all. 
"Where were you last night?" "At the Catholic Club," I said, 
"giving a lecture!" "Did you take supper before you went?" 
"No!" "Did you take supper outside? Did you call on your 
mother? Don't you know it is against the rules to visit your 
mother without my leave?" And so on. The remainder of this 
pious Superior's remarks would need "so much censoring that it is 
best to omit it altogether. 

One wonders that so astute and wise an organiser as Ignatius 
Loyola did not foresee that his system of espionage and secret de- 
nunciation would in the end do far more harm than good. It is 
true, no doubt, that through it the Society has been saved from a 
number of scandals, and has been more fortunate than other Orders 
in getting rid in time of members who were likely to cause trouble. 
But as an offset to such practical advantages there stands the spirit 
of distrust and suspicion. Secret denunciation sounded the death- 
knell of domestic peace and confidence. 

Furthermore, one. cannot shut one's eyes to the fact that secret 
denunciation is open to intolerable abuses. It is true the Society has 
striven by legislation to lessen these abuses, but it is impossible to 
prevent them. They are inherent in the very nature of the matter. 
The spy-maniac will make and substantiate the most atrocious 
charges. "How do I know," asked a worthy old spy-maniac of a 

Jesuit- Espionage 125 

fellow Jesuit of mine, "whether or not you have just come from a 
brothel? All I know is that you are late!" This same good 
Father used to hide behind rocks when Jesuits were at the seaside 
and watch through binoculars to discover, if he could, some ob- 
scenity. And yet he was from time to time a Superior, or at least 
in charge of communities, and his word would have been taken 
against that of a mere subject. At times of political tension and 
at times of social unrest, spying becomes doubly dangerous. "It 
has been reported to me that you . . ." falls from the Superior's 
lips more and more frequently. 

There are many imprudent, stupid, and credulous Superiors 
who listen to every tale, and believe every story, especially if it is 
to the discredit of those whom they dislike. They receive readily 
the tales of "Externs" and believe them, perhaps rightly, against the 
word of members of their own Order. And it is well known in 
some places that clever and intriguing "pious females," can through 
their influence with Superiors exercise a kind of veto and control 
over appointments to various offices. Even Acquaviva, the "Saviour 
of the Society," has recourse more than once in the "Industrie" to 
the expression, "externs were seeking some one else by name" 
(externi alium petebant nominatim). 18 "Externs," as is well known 
in the Society, mean in practice "pious women. 


However little in keeping the espionage system of the Society 
of Jesus may be with the spirit of Christ, and however unhappy its 
consequences as far as the peace and contentment of mind of in- 
dividual Jesuits may be, it is no doubt in full consonance with the 
calculated strategy which Ignatius Loyola thought fit to introduce 
into the fierce, relentless, and uncompromising warfare that he 
undertook to wage, by human as well as spiritual means, against the 
world, the flesh and above all the devil. 

is Cf. c. 14, 7. 



FATHER GENELLI, a Jesuit historian, tells us, that "as regards 
chastity it deserves to be emphasised that the Society is so immacu- 
late in this respect that its opponents have never been able to prove 
any assertion against it." * 

If one accepts this claim as serious, and considers the frailty of 
human nature, even of such human nature as consecrates itself to 
the service of God, one cannot but be interested in studying the 
rules and methods whereby the Society of Jesus has secured im- 
munity from the most common of all human weaknesses. Whether 
this achievement, claimed by the Jesuits, is due to a successfully 
employed technique by which the sex-urge is completely suppressed 
and eliminated, or whether it is due to some marvellous system of 
sublimation whereby the sex-energy is drawn off into other chan- 
nels, the result is equally remarkable. In either case the strategy 
adopted by the Jesuits in their warfare against sex is calculated to 
intrigue the modern mind. And even though the claim made by 
Father Genelli should prove to be insufficiently substantiated, the 
obvious confidence of the Society in its chastity, and in the power 
of legislation to secure the perfection of this virtue, is a matter of 
no small interest. 

That Father Genelli was not alone in his high opinion of the" 
chastity of Jesuits is evidenced by Father Cordara, S.J., an enfant 
terrible at times, who writes in his Memoirs, 2 "Chastity was highly 
valued by the Jesuits. They basked in its splendour. They boasted 
of being distinguished by it from other monks. I have often heard 
them say that much "that was disgraceful was spread abroad about the 
other Orders ; many bad examples were set by them ; but that noth- 
ing of this kind happened among the Jesuits." 

In the Summary of the Constitutions, mention of Chastity is 

1 Das Lebcn des heiligen Ignatius von Loyola, Innsbruck, 1848, p. 230. 

2 Denkwiirdigkeiten, Dollinger, Beitrage, 3, 74. 


Jesuits and Women 127 

made for the first time in the twenty-eighth rule, a rule which 
places so high an ideal of chastity before Jesuits that it seems to 
involve a contradiction. The expression "angelical purity of mind 
and body" is used, albeit even the most orthodox of believers do 
not pretend that angels have bodies or indeed that this particular 
virtue has any meaning whatsoever for them. Be that as it may, 
the rule which reads as follows is clear as to its purpose: "What 
concerns the vow of chastity needs no interpretation since it is mani- 
fest how perfectly it is to be observed, namely, by striving to imi- 
tate angelical purity, in cleanliness both of body and mind." And 
as if to add emphasis to the ideal of physical continency, the order 
of words consecrated by unvarying scholastic usage, which places 
"mind" before "body" is reversed, and we find that "cleanliness 
of body" is put before "cleanliness of mind." 

The vow of chastity referred to in this rule is taken on the 
termination of the Noviceship. The novices, sixteen years of age 
and upwards (unless in case of special dispensation by the Jesuit 
General when they may make their vows at an earlier age), bind 
themselves to perpetual celibacy and to the avoidance of all sins of 
the flesh. They render themselves for ever incapable of contracting 
what in the eyes of the Church would be a valid marriage. Further- 
more, the effect of the vow is such that it adds the crime of sacri- 
lege to any sin against chastity that a Jesuit commits, so as to make 
of what in an ordinary Catholic would be one mortal sin, two 
mortal sins in a Jesuit. 

Having formulated the ideal of chastity in the twenty-eighth 
Rule of the Summary, the Society proceeds 3 to lay down defensive 
outworks of the virtue. These outworks consist of stern repres- 
sion of all spontaneous outbursts and ebullitions of the emotions; 
self-effacement before others; and temperance as regards food. 
"All must diligently guard the gates of their senses (particularly 
their eyes, their ears, and their tongue), from all that is inordinate; 
and preserve themselves in true internal peace and humility, show- 
ing this in silence, when it is to be observed, and when speaking, 
in the circumspection and edification of their words, the maturity 
of their gait and whole carriage, without any sign of impatience 
or pride; in all things seeking and desiring to procure the better 

3 In the 29th and soth rules. 

128 The Jesuit Enigma 

part for others; and considering all in their hearts as siiperior to 
themselves; showing this exteriorly in the honour and reverence 
which each one's state deserves, with religious simplicity and modera- 
tion; and so bringing it about that having mutual consideration 
for one another, they may increase in devotion and praise the Lord 
God, whom each one shall recognise in the other as though the 
other were His image." The thirtieth rule continues: 

"In the refection of the body care must be had that temperance, 
modesty, and decency both interior and exterior shall be observed 
in all things. Grace must be said before and after meals, which 
all shall attend to with due reverence and devotion, and while by 
eating the body is refreshed, let the soul also have her food." 

In these two rules the general law of self-restraint, religious 
modesty, and recollection are inculcated. Constant vigilance lest 
the eyes wander, the tongue wag, the teeth plunge greedily into 
the tempting morsel, is in the mind of the Order the keystone of 
the edifice of chastity. Strong confirmation of this view will be 
forthcoming presently when we consider Ignatius' famous "Rules 
of Modesty." To inhibit and coact the senses in every way, is 
the essence of the Society's teaching to this day as regards the attain- 
ment of chastity. The Revised Constitutions of the Order has 
nothing new to add in this matter: "Let all be mindful of how 
much it conduces to the preservation of angelical purity to watch 
over the senses, as well as to observe carefully the Rules of Modesty, 
and to practise continual mortification of ourselves in all things, in 
the manner prescribed to us in the Constitutions." 4 

While drawing up his "Rules of Modesty," Ignatius spent weeks 
in prayer and meditation. He counted on them for wonderful 
results. They were considered by him as his chef d'oeuvre. He 
was almost as proud of writing them as he was of founding the 
Company of Jesus. They reflect not only his character but his 
mentality and outlook on life. They epitomised his ideal of what 
a Jesuit should be. They embody a code of rigorous mental and 
physical repression; a code so severe and gruelling that to observe 
it fully would entail insanity for most men. Novices make heroic 
efforts to observe all these rules to the letter, but invariably they 
collapse under the strain. As Jesuits grow more mature they 
*Cf. Epitome of Revised Constitutions, publ. 1924. 

Jesuits and Women 129 

silently shed these rules, one by one, and during my twenty years 
of membership in the Society, I came across only two, or possibly 
three, mature Jesuits who continued to bear them in mind. The 
Rules of Modesty are thirteen in number: 

1 i ) As regards the conversation of Ours let it be said in general 
that in all outward actions there should appear modesty and hu- 
mility, joined with religious maturity. In particular the following 
points are to be observed: 

(2) The head must not be moved this way or that way lightly, 
but with gravity, when there is occasion for it; and if there be no 
occasion for it, let it be held straight with a slight inclination for- 
ward, not bending it to either side. 

(3) For the most part let the eyes be downcast, neither im- 
moderately lifting them up, nor turning them in this or that direc- 

(4) When speaking, especially with men of authority, let not 
the gaze be fixed full upon the face, but rather a little below the 

(5) Wrinkles on the forehead and much more on the nose are 
to be avoided so that outwardly serenity may appear, which may 
give testimony to inward serenity. 

(6) The lips must not be tooi much closed nor too much open. 

(7) The whole face should display hilarity rather than sadness 
or any other less moderate affection. 

(8) Clothes should be clean, and arranged with religious de- 

(9) The hands, if not engaged in holding one's cloak, should be 
kept decently quiet. 

(10) The gait should be moderate without any notable haste 
unless necessity requires it; in which case, however, as far as pos- 
sible care of decorum should be had. 

( 1 1 ) All gestures and movements should be such as to give edi- 
fication to all. 

(12) If many are together the order prescribed by the Superior 
should be observed, namely, by going in groups of two or three. 

(13) If one have to speak he should be mindful of modesty and 
edification, both as regards the words he uses, and his style and 
manner of speech. 

130 The Jesuit Enigma 

It was undoubtedly with the object of keeping the Society chaste 
that Ignatius drew up these remarkable rules and prescribed them 
for all, old and young, subjects and Superiors. He reasoned no 
doubt along the lines of the exterior reacting on and controlling 
the interior. If the eyes were downcast, the head bent, the hands 
quiet, the expression hilarious, and the lips almost smiling, it would 
be impossible for evil to find a stable lodging within. Modern 
psychologists sometimes teach that by "acting as if" you are under 
the influence of a certain emotion you tend to produce that emotion, 
or rather to evoke it. Ignatius no doubt had some similar idea in 
his mind. By "acting as if" he is most modest and chaste, the 
Jesuit tends to evoke the spirit of chastity. But against the calcula- 
tion that Ignatius made there stands another well-founded opinion 
of modern psychology that exterior expression of sex-aloofness 
and frigidity is itself a compromise with the sex-urge, and a symp- 
tom of conflict. 

Apart from the "Rules of Modesty," and the rules already 
quoted from the "Summary," there are other rules called "Aids to 
Chastity" 5 which are deserving of attention. Jesuits must not 
read books or periodicals, which although not on the index, are of 
a kind to endanger morals and the religious spirit. They must not, 
unless for serious reasons, of which the Superior must be the judge, 
read novels or other worldly books (fabulas romanenses, aliave 
opera mere mundana). Superiors are warned to be stern, rather 
than lenient in this matter, especially with young Jesuits. Further- 
more, Jesuits must abstain from pieces of music which are accom- 
panied by mundane songs; they must even abstain from the tunes 
composed for such purpose. 

Apart from practices of mortification, elsewhere referred to, they 
must diligently observe what is known as the ne tangas (do not 
touch) rule. The ne tangas rule \reads as follows: "In order 
that the gravity and modesty which becomes religious men be ob- 
served, no one may touch another even in jest, save by embracing 
as a sign of charity when some one is departing for, or returning 
from, a journey." This rule was interpreted by my Novice Master 
as forbidding implicitly the petting of animals. And when a fel- 

6 Cf. Const., 6 c. 2, De Aliis Prsesidiis Castitatis. 
6 The 34th Common rule. 

Jesuits and Women 131 

low novice of mine enquired if "playing 'hobby-horse' with his 
little brothers and sisters would be against this rule," he was an- 
swered in the affirmative. One wonders how Ignatius, in face of 
this rule, could have "formed his conscience" to instruct his mis- 
sioners, that on entering the presence of duchesses they should kneel 
and kiss their hands? 

We come now to the attitude of the Society of Jesus towards 
women. As laid down in the Constitutions, it is the medisevalist 
attitude of the Church; profound distrust, not unmingled with 
fear and contempt. Women in general are looked upon as "limbs 
of Satan," and every effort is made to reduce to the minimum 
contact with them, and to guard as far as possible against the 
terrible risks of such contact as is absolutely unavoidable. 

As we shall see, there is legislation regulating the visiting of 
women, and the receiving of visits from them ; the writing of 
letters to women and the receiving of letters from them; the 
hearing of the confessions of women and the listening to what they 
may have to say in the church; the giving of retreats to women, 
and the directing of their souls in spiritual matters. 

Already in the Spiritual Exercises, written by Ignatius long be- 
fore he drew up the Constitutions, we find the Jesuit viewpoint as 
regards women outlined. "Our Enemy the Devil," writes Igna- 
tius, 7 "resembles the nature and habit of a woman in puniness of 
force and obstinacy of spirit. For as a woman quarrelling with a 
man, on seeing him resist her with an erect and firm front, immedi- 
ately loses courage and turns her back; but on perceiving that he 
is timid and cowardly rises to the utmost heights of audacity, and 
attacks him with ferocity ; in like manner is the Devil accustomed to 
lose courage and strength as often as he perceives the spiritual ath- 
lete with a brave heart and lofty forehead struggling against his 
temptations. But if the latter shows signs of fear, etc. . . . there 
is no beast on earth more infuriated than the Devil." 

In spite, however, of such a low estimate of the "nature and 
habit of women," the Society found in due time that it was very 
much to their interest to cultivate them. This they attempted, 
however, in a very gingerly fashion at first, as is shown (and indeed 
amusingly) in a decree of the Sixth General Congregation, This 

7 Cf. Disc, of Spirits. 

132 The Jesuit TLnigma 

Congregation evidently occupied itself with the question, "What 
kind of women are deserving of the honour of being visited by 
Ours?" The answer it arrived at was as follows: 

"Three conditions are necessary that a woman be found worthy 
of being visited by Our People. In the first place, she must be a 
person of rank and distinction; for there is no need to show special 
courtesy to all pious women of whatever estate they be. ... Sec- 
ondly, she must have uncommon merit as regards services rendered 
to the Society. Thirdly, the act of courtesy must be welcome to 
her husband or her relations." 

The Congregation that passed this interesting decree was com- 
posed of Acquaviva, the General (the "Saviour of the Society") ; his 
Assistants; and three representative Fathers from each of the many 
provinces of the Society. It was passed in the golden age of the 
Order, when Saints, Doctors, Cardinals, and Royal Confessors 
abounded in its ranks, and when Jesuits were supposed to be the 
pioneers of Christian charity, science, and perfection. 

The most direct and unequivocal evidence of the opinion held 
by the Society as to the mental gifts of women is found in the 
Directorium* which to this day is in the hands of every Jesuit. It 
guides Jesuits in the giving of Retreats, and is founded on the 
teachings of Ignatius himself. In this book the ninth chapter deals 
with "The various kinds of people to whom the Exercises can be 
given," and the fifteenth section states that "if they be ignorant 
(rude*, i.e., uncouth or unlettered), and uncultured (illiterate), 
not much time is to be spent on them, nor are the whole Exercises 
to be given them." Thus the Society differentiates between the 
rudes and the rest, and teaches that it is unprofitable to waste time 
on the former or to bother about their spiritual advancement. 

The section which follows ? deals with the case of women, "some 
of whom sometimes seek to make the Exercises." And we find this 
startling statement: "In their case the same method is to be observed 
as in the case of ignorant men (rudes)" The only exception al- 
lowed is in the case of women "of good judgment, capable of spir- 
itual things, and having sufficient leisure time at home." But 
even if the women be such as this exception demands, the Jesuit 

8 The book of directions of the Spiritual Exercises. 

9 The sixteenth. 

Jesuits and Women 133 

giving the Exercises must still be on his guard. He must give the 
Exercises in the church. He must take pains to avoid scandal, or 
suspicion. He must not hand them written meditations, lest men 
should think he was handing them billets doux. If he cannot 
possibly avoid handing to them written meditations, he must manage 
the matter in an altogether discreet way (fiat omnino discrete). 

Turning now to what we may call direct intercourse with women 
we find the following general rule laid down : 10 "In dealing with 
women Ours must always display spiritual gravity and modesty, and 
most carefully avoid anything in the nature of friendliness" (om- 
nemque familiaritatis speciem). There is a rule " which prescribes 
the kind of parlour in which the visits of women may be 
received: "The place destined for receiving the visits of women 
and hearing what they have to say should be such that it might 
truly be said to be open (ut vere patens dici potest), and so placed 
that whatever is done in it can easily be seen by the janitor and the 
passers-by." Needless to say the Order does not consider the ques- 
tion of hospitality or of the feelings of such guests. It only looks 
to safeguarding the virtue of its members and its own reputation, 
and leaves the rest to chance. Hence it lays down the following 
instructions for the Jesuit who is the recipient of the lady's visit: 
"Ours must not receive visits from women unless rarely and unless 
they serve some truly useful purpose. Ours must not hold long 
conversations with women." 

As regards the paying of visits to women, only Jesuits of great 
prudence and well-proven virtue are supposed to do so, and then 
only when it is absolutely necessary, or when there is hope of great 
fruit. But even Fathers so grave, so well proven in virtue and so 
prudent (valde probatis et prudentibus), may not enter the lioness's 
den unguarded. .They must have with them a trustworthy Jesuit 
companion, specially appointed for the purpose by the Superior, who 
is instructed to keep them in sight all the time, and who is pledged 
to denounce to the Superior anything that happens of an unedifying 
nature. In some parts of the Constitutions this companion is spoken 
of as a "testis" a witness; and he represents not only moral pro-? 
tection (or "support," as it is called), but also legal precautions 
against defamation. One wonders what the feelings of a lady 

1( > Epit. Const. 462. " Epit. 457- 

134 The Jesuit Enigma 

benefactor of the Society would be did she know that, even -though 
deemed worthy of a visit, she was still so far distrusted as to be 
only allowed the privilege of conversing with one of "Our People" 
when the latter was under the protection of a friendly witness. 

Needless to say all these wonderful precautions are disregarded, 
and when a grave father takes it into his head to visit a pious female 
he goes alone and conforms as well as his knowledge of social usages 
directs him to ordinary ways of life. But let us accompany him 
on such a visit, a perfectly harmless visit, in order that afterwards 
by way of recapitulation, we may estimate how many holy rules and 
precautions safeguarding his chastity he violates. 

Father X., then, calls in the afternoon on good Mrs. Y. While 
waiting in the parlour he glances over some reviews that he finds 
on the table. She comes down and he chats with her alone. She 
invites him to have a cup of tea, and he accepts her hospitality. 
The children are brought in and he pats them on the head, and 
takes Tommy on his knee. He answers Mrs. Y.'s questions about 
Frs. A. and B., and tells her about Fr. Rector's plans for a new 
organ in the church. He gives Mrs. Y. advice about some matters 
of business and promises to attend to some details for. her. He 
accepts a little present for himself, and- on the whole has a pleasant 
and edifying tete-a-tete, but, alas, though he has succeeded in edi- 
fying Mrs. Y., especially as he gives her and the children his blessing 
before leaving, he has "played the Devil" with his rules. And 
unless his conscience has become extremely lax, he makes his way 
home with a heavy load on his soul. 

What a multitude of rules he has broken by his pious and well- 
intentioned dissipation! He broke rules by going out alone; by 
conversing alone with a woman; by conversing with a woman in a 
place that was not open; and by holding a long conversation with 
her; by eating outside his monastery; Iby eating outside mealtime; 
by accepting a present; by recounting things done in "the house"; 
by touching the children; by reading a review; by promising to take 
part in business. Each and every one of these rules is considered 
very important, and among them are the essential safeguards to 
chastity. How long, one wonders, would Fr. X.'s virtue last under 
such a strain? 

As regards the hearing of the confessions of women there is 

Jesuits and Women 135 

much legislation: "It is the Provincial's duty to designate regular 
confessors and he must choose for this office men mature in spirit 
and virtue, especially in the case where the confessions of women 
are to be heard." The Order exercises equal vigilance whether the 
women be Nuns or abide in the world. And in fact it seems in 
many ways to discriminate unfavourably against the former. 

"Ours may not undertake the care of Nuns or of other women, 
or girls living in communities, nor may Ours rule, them or serve as 
ordinary confessors, either of the whole community or of an indi- 
vidual, or mix in their affairs. No one of Ours is permitted to 
frequent convents unless he be of mature age and do so for sake 
of some spiritual ministry approved of by the Superior." . . . "As 
regards the extraordinary confessors of Nuns (i.e., those called in 
a few times a year, or on special occasions), only those who are over 
forty years of age are to be appointed, unless for some just reason 
that the Bishop considers sufficient; such extraordinary confessors 
must not become involved in any way in the internal or external 
government of the community." 

There is a long history behind Jesuit discrimination against Nuns 
and communities of "pious women" dating from the days of Igna- 
tius, into which it is not necessary to enter. Other Orders, such as 
the Dominicans and Franciscans, have what are more or less "fe- 
male branches," Dominican and Franciscan Nuns. But there are 
no Sisters of Jesus affiliated officially with the Jesuits, although the 
Sacred Heart Nuns are very close imitators of Jesuits as regards their 

The writing of letters to women and the receiving of letters 
from them was evidently a source of the gravest anxiety to the 
legislators of the Society. It was not considered sufficient that all 
such letters should be read by Superiors. Apparently, it was con- 
sidered that the very fact of corresponding with women was in itself 
dangerous. The fact that letters were concerned with "spiritual 
matters" did not make any difference. The Devil could come in 
and go out in spiritual letters as easily as in others. Furthermore, 
the Society possibly dreaded the female perfume still clinging to 
the dry pages, covered though they might be with pious aspirations. 
Anyhow we have the legislation that follows :" 

Cf, Epit. 253-255- 

136 The Jesuit ILnigma 

"Ours, particularly our young men, are not to be allowed to 
write to women, unless the letters be read through, and then only if 
there be a just and grave reason. As regards incoming letters 
marked 'conscience matter,' especially if they be from women, 
even from Nuns, the following rules are to be observed: (i) None 
of Ours may promise to give spiritual direction by correspondence. 
If he is asked to do so he must refuse, unless he wish beforehand 
to find out what the Superior thinks about the matter. (2) The 
Superior must not allow such a promise to be given unless rarely 
and for grave reasons, and then only by men trustworthy on account 
of their age, experience and solid virtue. Nor may a Superior 
himself, without letting the Provincial know, undertake such a cor- 
respondence. (3) When without due permission such letters are 
delivered to him, if he (the Superior) be certain that they contain 
secrets of conscience, he must not read them ; but whether he deliver 
them or not, he must take care that the writer be warned (unless 
grave reasons prevent this) that in future the writer abstain from 
letters of this kind; or, if not, that in future the letters will be 
destroyed without any previous warning being given." 

Some Superiors do not hesitate to tear up letters that are, accord- 
ing to custom, placed in their boxes, to ibe posted, and they do not 
take the trouble to advise the writer of the tearing up of his letters. 
One Superior, under whom I lived, tore up so many letters that 
it was customary, after writing a letter, to seize an opportunity 
of inspecting his waste-paper basket to ascertain the fate of one's 
letters. One of my letters to a fellow Jesuit was found among a 
Superior's papers when he died. Though it had been opened it had 
never been delivered. It was a letter, written from Louvain, con- 
taining information about the history of a certain St. Dymphna of 
Gele, whose name had been taken in religion by the sister of the 
Jesuit to whom I wrote. ^ 

The Constitutions of the Jesuit Order emphasises the fact that 
Jesuits are to attend to the spiritual needs of men in preference to 
women. A section, 18 which lays down the order in which the 
demands of the faithful are to be attended to, states: "As to what 
concerns people, other things being equal, those at^ome are to be 
helped before outsiders; among the latter those first of all who need 
" Cf. Epit. 603. 

Jesuits and Women 137 

help most; and those from whom more remarkable, more perma- 
nent and more universal spiritual fruit is hoped for; and in general 
men are to le helped rather than women" (et generatim viri majis 
quam mulieres). 

The strategy of Jesuit warfare against sex, thus far described, 
has been wholly that of repression. The two chapters of the 
Epitome which deal with Chastity, are entitled, "Concerning the 
Clausura," and "Concerning other Safeguards of Chastity." 
These two chapters are wholly devoted to prohibitions. In the 
mind of the Order there appears to be no other way of dealing with 
the sex-urge than to war it down; to crush it as a thing evil in 
itself; and to banish every manifestation of it, from interest in 
light romances to delight in giddy tunes. Prayer, fasting, penance; 
flight from occasion; manifestation of temptations; assiduity in 
pious reading; holy occupations; together with coldness towards 
such as provoke feelings of "sympathy and natural affection"; were 
the chief means prescribed by the Jesuit General Acquaviva for 
the conquest of this virtue. There is not the slightest hint of the 
possibility of sublimation. Sex must be choked to death, in spite 
of its being the mainspring of so many important activities of life. 
Reading between the lines of the Jesuit Constitutions, one would 
gather that the Jesuit view is that God somehow mismanaged things 
by placing so unholy a desire in the heart of man as sex-hunger, 
and that in creating man He did his work badly, or at least not so 

The history of the Society of Jesus shows very plainly that 
Jesuits were much less fearful of the contaminating influence of 
high-born women than of such as were of lowly or less noble 
birth. Ignatius himself, as we have seen, made a very clear dis- 
tinction between women of high and low estate, telling his followers 
that "they must not enter into relations with women unless they 
are women of distinguished position." The Jesuit General, 
Mercurian, following Ignatius' lead, wrote to a Provincial of 
Upper Germany that "women of rank, (who must, however, be at 
least baronesses^, may enter the colleges of the Society. But care 
should be taken that steady matrons and not young ladies should 
be the companfons of the lady of rank." T^ Society no doubt 

138 The Jesuit Enigma 

believed in the literal interpretation of the motto "noblesse oblige." 
General Acquaviva, as usual outspoken and dogmatic, wrote: "Most 
carefully familiarity with women of 'poor or low estate should be 
avoided as they are most exposed to suspicion and danger." One 
wonders if such as he could be in complete approval of some of 
Jesus' friendships. 

Jesuits in the seventeenth and eighteenth Centuries seem to have 
taken the bit between their teeth and to have boldly widened the 
gap left them by their founder, in respect of commerce with noble 
ladies. Indeed for nearly 200 years, preceding the suppression of 
the Order in 1773, there was hardly a Catholic Queen or Princess 
who had not a Jesuit director. These noble ladies befriended the 
Order in many ways, and countless favours and possessions of all 
kinds came to the Order through them. It was, as Paul Van Dyke 
hints, due to the influence of Costanza, the illegitimate daughter of 
Paul III, that this venerable pontiff gave his approval to the founda- 
tion of the Order, and as we have seen, it was through the wicked 
but able Catherine of Russia that the Order was in some measure 
able to nullify Clement XIV's Brief of Suppression. The best 
friends the Society has ever had have been its noble lady friends. 

The immediate advantages of cultivating noble ladies is seen 
for instance in the letters of the English Jesuit, Fr. Gerrard, who 
worked secretly in Elizabeth's kingdom. "I also received," he 
wrote, "many general confessions, among others that of a widow 
lady of high rank (Lady Lovel), who for the rest of her days 
applied herself to good works and gave me an annual sum of a 
thousand florins for the Society. Another widow, Mrs. Fortescue, 
gave me seven hundred." An English priest of the time, Fr. 
William Watson, who was very hostile to the Jesuits, wrote of 
Fr. Gerrard: "Another drift he hath by the exercise of cousinage; 
which is to persuade such gentlewomen as have large fortunes to 
their marriage to give the same to him and his companions and 
become nuns. So he^ prevailed! with two of Mr. Wiseman's 
daughters," etc. 

If one glances over the reports sent in to Ignatius by his mis- 
sionaries one finds lists of noblewomen visited and comforted. 
Paschasius Broet, for instance, writing from Bononia, 14 refers to 

14 September 6, 1550. 

Jesuits and Women 139 

three edifying incidents; the first concerns "a certain woman of 
noble blood"; the second, "men and women of noble blood"; 
and the third, a woman "both noble and devout." The implication 
is, doubtless, that ministry done in such high social circles is not 
only more edifying intrinsically, but also far removed from the 
breath of scandal. 

There is no doubt but that Jesuits have had in the past and 
still continue to have a remarkable power over women. Jesuit 
churches are thronged with women, and fashionable Catholic 
ladies consider that it is "the thing" to be directed by Jesuits and 
to frequent their churches. Women are the Jesuits' best friends. 
It may be a certain suavity in the Jesuit manner, a certain diplo- 
matic deftness, often lacking in secular priests, together with a 
general air of good breeding that delights and charms them. 
Jesuits, as Hoensbroech said, "work by fascination." They feel 
themselves predestined to greatness and success; the chosen Order 
of God; the inheritors of a great name; and such a psychic back- 
ground enhances all they say and do. The greatness of the Order 
is subtly suggested, together with the learning and holiness of its 
members. Catholic women both in and out of religion have hith- 
erto fallen an easy prey to the Jesuit way. Fr. Tyrrell seemed to 
think that Jesuit influence over women would not survive their 
awakened critical spirit due to increased interest in science. That, 
however, remains to be seen. 

One fact seems certain, that in many countries, and of a few I 
can speak with personal knowledge, Jesuits would have been starved 
out were it not for women-folk. In Ireland, for instance, it is 
beyond question that were it not for the Nuns and the pious Cath- 
olic ladies of Dublin and Limerick, the Jesuits long since would 
have had to leave the country; their schools would have been empty, 
their collection-plates in Gardiner Street, Dublin, and The 
Crescent, Limerick, would have been bare, their pious booklets 
would have remained unsold, and their retreat-givers out of 

The Jesuit characteristics of pride, aloofness and insincerity 
which antagonise men, lay and clerical, do not seem to repel women 
to the same extent, or else it may be, that in spite of their rules, 
in dealing with women Jesuits display a kind of sweetness and 

140 The Jesuit Enigma 

. friendliness that exercises an irresistible charm. However that may 
be, it is a piquant situation for the Order to be so largely dependent 
for its existence on the support of that sex that it treats of so 
harshly and contemptuously in its Constitutions. 


Returning now to the quotation from Fr. Genelli, S.J., with 
which this chapter opened, and in which he states that "no assertion 
against the immaculate chastity of the Society has ever been f roved" 
we must in fairness declare that at least some evidence contrary 
to his claim is adducible. From time to time Jesuit houses and 
colleges have been raided by Government Officials and private 
papers seized. In the State Archives of Bavaria, to take one in- 
stance, there are private Jesuit papers, seized in this way, including 
letters from Provincials to Generals, Reports of Visitators, and so 
forth. Among these papers are some which give an insight into 
the state of morals of the Jesuit Upper German Province, at the 
close of the sixteenth century and later. Dr. Heinrich von Lang 1S 
published some of these papers, among them a report made by a 
very famous Jesuit, Fr. Hoffaus, who had been sent by the General 
Acquaviva as Visitator of the Province in 1596. From this report 
we take the following quotation : ' 

"It is to be regretted that so many beneficial precautionary meas- 
ures (for the preservation of chastity) are not always observed or 
are observed very carelessly. Feasting, (commessationes) , and fre- 
quent visits to single females at their residences take place without 
necessity. Rendezvous are given in the church for long conver- 
sations with women, and there are scandalously long confessions of 
women even of those who frequently confess. Confessions of 
sick women in their houses are heard without the presence of a 
companion who can see the confessor ^and penitent. Frequently, 
yes! very frequently intimacy prevails between two persons, (con- 
fessor and female penitent), without any trace of strict repression 
on the confessor's part. I fear that sweet and agreeable words are 
exchanged which are tinged with carnal lust and carnal feelings. 
Unpleasant occurrences which lead to apostasy and expulsion from 
the Society teach us what great evils are caused by such trans- 
gressions in the case of confessors. Must there not be a strange 
15 Director of Bavarian State Archives. 

Jesuits and Women 141 

aberration of intellect and heart when confessors in a free and 
unembarrassed manner and without fear of shame dare to pass 
many hours joking with women before the criticising eyes of the 
world as if they themselves and their penitents were not in any 
danger from such unrestricted intercourse? It is known, and has 
also reached the ears of the Prince that confessors from amongst 
our Order have become entangled through such Satanic examples 
of vice, and have apostatised or been expelled from the Society as 
evil nuisances." 16 

Besides quoting such official Jesuit reports as that of Fr. Hoffaus, 
Dr. Heinrich von Lang refers to several instances of the frailty of 
Jesuits of the early Society; official Jesuit records of which are 
still preserved in the Austrian and Bavarian State Archives. And 
needless to say the works of anti- Jesuit writers abound with in- 
stances of Jesuit wrong-doing. It is] however, in no sense the pur- 
pose of this chapter to enlarge on this matter or to multiply evidence 
calculated to upset the claim of Fr. Genelli. 

Every one knows that from time to time Jesuits have become 
involved in serious scandals in every country in the world, and any 
one who cares to devote his time to the unprofitable occupation can 
without difficulty discover many particular instances of wrong-doing 
of every kind among the Jesuits. Within my own experience in 
the Society I came across many very serious scandals, but my chief 
interest in them was the fact that in the majority of these scandals 
the guilty parties were "Professed Fathers," "Patricians," some of 
whom were celebrated for their asceticism and piety, and not mere 
"Coadjutor Fathers," the "Plebeians" of the Order. 

Particular instances of wrong-doing, however, mean nothing, 
and every thoughtful person realises with Fr. Tyrrell that "scandals 
prove nothing unless they can be shown to result -per se from the 
principles according to which the Society is governed, and unless it 
can be shown that as a rule good men become less good or bad, 
and bad men become worse." 

The question therefore at issue is not whether some particular 
Jesuits are immoral, but whether as a whole the Society of Jesus 
deserves the reputation of being "immaculately chaste." 

16 Reusch, Beitrage sur Geschichte des Jesuitenordens, 1894. Trans, by 

142 The Jesuit Enigma 

Towards answering this question evidence of very general scope 
can be given; evidence not restricted to what is isolated and par- 
ticular, but to what is very general if not universal. In the first 
place, those "safeguards," set up by the Order for the preservation 
of chastity, and on which the Order sets so much value, such as 
"The Rules of Modesty" ; the rules regulating the visiting of single 
women; the rule of companionship; the rule forbidding the reading 
of light literature and romances; the ne tongas rule, and so 
forth, are disregarded almost completely. The only safeguard that 
is to my knowledge well observed is the general Church law of 
clausura, forbidding the admission of women into the private 
quarters of Jesuit houses. But even this law is at times disregarded 
on the pretext that no official clausura has been set up, and I have 
known a Jesuit Superior to invite ladies into his private room, which 
also served as bedroom, and to allow subjects to do likewise. 

So much for the disappearance of those outworks of chastity 
that the founder of the Order considered a sine qua non of this 
virtue. As regards those external signs of sex-conflict and sex- 
abnormality, which modern psychology has so carefully studied and 
classified, are Jesuit communities so wholly unmarked by symp- 
tomatic manifestations that they have a right to be regarded as 
immune from sex-trouble? Or do Jesuits in general display 
external signs of sex-trouble, to the same approximate degree as 
other men ? If so, from the standpoint of modern science at least, 
they will not be able to substantiate their claim to immaculate 

It seems to me that Jesuits in general display external symptoms 
of sex-trouble to the same extent as average men in the world. 
When one glances round a Jesuit community, one's eyes fall on 
some who are morose and introvert; v. others who have strange 
"tics" ; others who are well known for their sadistic cruelty to 
boys; others, quite a large class, who notably cultivate nice-looking 
"boy-friends"; others "who are famous for their salacious stories; 
others who are morbidly preoccupied with "peeping" inquisitively, 
sometimes by the aid of binoculars; others who are characteristically 
restless with "wander-lust." Other Jesuits, perhaps the largest 
class of all, are spiritual polygamists, who cultivate large harems of 
pious "mulierculse" whose devotions they foster by sympathetic 

Jesuits and Women 143 

pious petting. Many Jesuits there are also who keep hidden away 
in their rooms risque French novels. 

There is, of course, nothing in the nature of gross public irreg- 
ularity. Exterior order and respectability is always aimed at, and 
the military spirit of Ignatius Loyola is still strong enough in the 
Order to inspire court-martial proceedings in the case of public 
wrong-doing. But the lesser infringements of modesty and angel- 
icity can no longer be coped with by Superiors, and one is no longer 
startled if one hears in a Jesuit corridor, ornamented perhaps by 
the grim-visaged portraits of Saints and Generals, a female voice 
exclaiming laughingly, "Oh, Father dear, you are rippingly funny!" 

When I say that one notices the symptomatic signs of sex- 
trouble in the average Jesuit community, I should make exception 
for Noviceships. Whatever be the other psychic effects of Novice- 
ship life, it certainly seems to completely anaesthetise the sex-urge. 
In the faces of novices one beholds a healthy brightness and a 
sincere joyousness. Purity and chastity seem to exude from their 
eyes. They seem immersed in a Nirvana of holy innocence, save 
when from time to time external occupations arouse them from 
their dreams. The ideal of generous sacrifice and unselfishness, 
put before them graphically, concretely and in an emotionally 
inspiring way, lifts them spiritually out of the atmosphere of 
base material things, and etherealises them, for the time being. 
This acme of enthusiasm and fervour does not, however, survive 
the complete withdrawal from the world that Noviceship life en- 
tails. Little by little, in the course of their subsequent studies 
the bright fresh innocence of their faces wanes, giving place to 
looks of trouble and disillusionment. Sadness is in their hearts 
because they can no longer breathe that sweet rarefied air of celestial 
chastity. Base things intrude themselves into their souls with more 
and more urgency. And by the time that, as Fathers, they come 
to take their parts with others in the external works of the Society 
they show the usual human signs of man's warfare with the Siva 
of sex. 

Whether Ignatius Loyola's ideal of "emulating angelical purity 
in cleanliness both of body and mind" has been achieved by the 
Order he founded must be left to the reader to decide. If he 
enquires for himself he will find that in the Society of Jesus as in 

144 The Jesuit Enigma 

heaven there is no "marrying or giving in marriage," but I believe 
that he will also find that the old severity, still clamorously insisted 
upon by Rome, has been surreptitiously replaced by more modern 
ways. If he calls upon some Jesuit Dean of Studies, or Director 
of a Paper, installed in his up-to-date office, instead of finding a 
severe-looking priest, with downcast eyes and head slightly bowed, 
assisted by a grim-visaged lay-brother as scribe, he will find as 
likely as not an attentive lady-typist, closeted with the good Father, 
and pleasantly taking down his dictation. 


Once more one is up against the Jesuit enigma, the discrepancy 
between principles and practice; between the Society of Jesus as 
it exists in the Constitutions, and the Society as it is in actual life; 
between the offhand way in which it sheds its most sacred rules 
in the daylight of existence, and the intransigence with which it 
refuses to displace a comma of its inspired Koran. 



NOT many Jesuits pass through the training period of the Order 
without developing some form of eccentricity. The extremte 
tension of the Noviceship and early years of study, followed by 
the steady grind of repression in subsequent phases of the Jesuit's 
life, almost inevitably result in some pathological characteristic. 
A normal Jesuit is as rare as a white blackbird,, and the spirit of 
peace which marks the Trappist finds its counterpart in the spirit 
of restlessness which characterises the Jesuit. 

One can easily understand therefore how rich a field a Jesuit 
community offers for the study of abnormalities. If one is inter- 
ested in unusual facial expressions; in peculiar forms of ab- 
straction; in strange types of "tic"; in subtle manifestations of 
hysteria and neurasthenia; or in bizarre obsessions, one should 
secure the hospitality of a Jesuit house and observe the community 
closely. If one remains long enough, one without doubt will also 
have an opportunity of witnessing some of those sudden violent 
storms that burst without warning among men, who live at variance 
with the laws of nature, and at a high tension of internal re- 
pression. If it be true, as modern psychology pretends, that ex- 
ternal acts and postures, whether conscious or unconscious, are 
inevitably symptomatic of internal moods, and ideas, and that 
the human is ever and always betraying his soul by his outward 
expressions, the things which happen and pass in and before the 
minds of Jesuits must indeed be very strange. 

Many Jesuits suffer from insomnia and headaches; many, espe- 
cially among the younger members, have "broken heads" 
(obsessional neuralgia); many are melancholic; many scrupulous, 
and victims of phobias. The persecution mania is, as might be 
expected from our study of the Jesuit espionage system, exceedingly 
common. A Jesuit tainted with this malady believes that every 


146 The Jesuit Enigma 

one is plotting against him; reporting him to his Superior; watch- 
ing where he goes and what he does; scheming to deprive him of 
whatever privileges he enjoys; and in general determined to ruin 
him. He suspects every one, and retires more and more into 
himself. Sometimes this mania takes an extreme form. One 
Father, of whom I heard, collected huge stones in his room and 
barricaded himself against all comers, threatening to kill any one 
who should try to enter. 

Suicidal and homicidal manias are not unknown in the Society, 
but naturally the victims of these maladies are sent away, or put 
into mental homes. The praecox tendency showing itself in 
"glorified egos" is frequently encountered. Such Jesuits boast of 
their blue blood; of their prowess as teachers, orators, athletes, 
artists and theologians; or of the extraordinary amount of work 
that they do. The Order attributes their boastings to pride, and 
takes no cognisance of the activity of subconscious complexes. 
There are many forms of cleptomania to be observed, from collect- 
ing knives, pins, books and golf balls to incontinently stealing 
tobacco and other things. One Jesuit, of whom I heard, had as 
a "fetish" white linen. When he vacated his room an enormous 
quantity of sheets, pillow-cases, towels and so forth were found 
accumulated under his bed and in cupboards. The "fetish" cult 
as practised in the Order usually takes on a pious form, namely the 
collection of objects of devotion. Sadism (the torturing of 
others) and masochism (self-torture) are apparently common in 
the Order. I have known some Jesuits to lash boys with hard 
leather straps in a state of passionate excitement, while the boys 
writhed in agony, and blood flowed from their hands. These 
sadistic Jesuits, with flushed faces and dilated pupils, seemed to 
glory in their orgy. As to masochism, I have seen Jesuits invite 
boys to throw hard balls at them with as much strength as they 
could; to hit them with sticks; to squeeze their fingers with 
wrenches until the blood almost oozed from under their finger- 
nails; and to inflict other suchlike tortures upon them. Exhibition- 
ism is, curiously enough, much in evidence in the Order. It may ( 
be that it proves to be the most natural reaction against the Rules of 
Modesty and similar forms of external repression. When during 
vacation time communities go to the seaside for a brief "villa," 

Jesuit Mind-Healing 147 

Jesuits are as unrestrained in their free-from-clothes sportings as 
inhabitants of central Africa. Exhibitionism is seen, too, in sense- 
less feats of daring very common among young Jesuits. Some 
ride down precipitous hills on bicycles devoid of brakes; some 
roll down the sides of steep heights blindfolded; some swim dan- 
gerous channels without an escorting boat. In these and other 
ways they give expression to the violent reaction that the enforced 
restraint of their lives generates. There is hardly a single form of 
exciting enterprise, not excepting boxing, wrestling and beer- 
drinking contests, that I have not seen Jesuits engage in. Yet few, 
if any, take thought of the psychological significance of 

There are Jesuits who never take baths, and Jesuits who are 
eternally washing their hands. There are Jesuits who paste paper 
over pictures in books that reveal the human figure, and Jesuits 
who collect pictures of pretty actresses. There are Jesuits who 
do everything in "threes," in devotion to the Trinity, and Jesuits 
who write all their notes on bits of torn paper out of love of 
"Holy Poverty." Finally, there are many Jesuits who crawl like 
worms, under the urge of inferiority complexes, and as many 
others who strut" 5 like peacocks, under the full blast of superiority 

Hypochondria, in a more or less pronounced form, is exceedingly 
common among Jesuits. The rule imposes a "moderate care of 
the health," but there is no moderation in the care which "hipped" 
Jesuits bestow on their physical well-being. Some claim that their 
stomachs are so weak that they need an altogether special diet; 
some complain of lack of vitality and 'are content to smoke and 
read the newspapers; indefinite and indescribable pains in the head 
or heart afflict others; fatigue in all its forms is rampant; and 
from every community there ascends to heaven a mighty wail of 
complaints. The only authorised psychotherapy afforded these 
numerous victims of neuroses is an increase of pious endeavour, 
which, as might be expected, is as little efficacious against their 
mental sicknesses as it would be against gout or gangrene. 

Already allusion has been made to platonic homosexuality in the 
Order. In every college there are masters conspicuous for their 
attention to "boy-friends," who are called, in some places, "sucks" 

148 The Jesuit Enigma 

and "tarts." At Clongowes College, Ireland, nothing was more 
common than to hear a boy spoken of as "a suck of Father 

So and So," or "one of Fr. 's tarts" Legislation was made 

in the Order against admitting boys to the rooms of the members 
of the community, but such legislation, enacted no doubt as a con- 
sequence of abuses, is only very partially observed. The homo- 
sexual type of Jesuit invariably becomes a favourite of the Superior, 
to whom he carries tales, and whom he flatters and serves with 
docile affection. He soon acquires so much influence in high 
quarters that he can satisfy his petty spites and take revenge on 
men who despise him. Homosexual Jesuits are great "stay-at- 
homes." They take no part in noisy outbreaks. They fall in 
very easily with Superiors' regulations (possibly suggested by 
themselves), and attain a reputation for "strict observance." Some- 
times they develop pseudo-mystical propensities, which, of course, 
enhance still more their fame for piety. In due time some of 
them become Superiors and display suspiciousness, spitefulness and 
extreme pettiness. While they reign as Superiors they are the 
bane of the Order, and have no other principle than favouritism. 
One such I knew who could win the favour of any Superior. In 
due time he rilled many high offices. "But his chief interest was 
his boy-friends; a long succession of then}; some of whom he 
taught to sing, others to garden, others to serve Mass, others to 
read poetry, others to adorn shrines, others to collect wild flowers 
with him for the altars. All the while higher Superiors saw -in 
him an admirable and prudent Jesuit. They listened to his bitter 
denunciations as though they were suggested by charity. And they 
consulted him in all matters of importance. There is no doubt 
that one of the sources of decay in the Society of Jesus has been 
the legislation and governmental spirit introduced by the Jesuits 
of homosexual mentality. 

The "dromomaniacs" (hoboes) are the healthiest and happiest 
class in the Society. ' It is the Jesuits' vocation, according to the 
Constitutions, "to travel to various places"; and in what does the 
dromomaniac delight more? If he is placed on the mission staff 
he is especially fortunate. He takes to the road, and travels the 
country giving missions and retreats, marching at the head of 
processions and organising pilgrimages. He has fewer complaints 

Jesuit Mind-Healing 149 

to make than Jesuits in other occupations, and as a rule enjoys 
good health. It is not unfair to attribute much of the success of 
the famous far-travelling Jesuit missionaries of the early times to 
the "hobo urge" that kept them ever moving. Xavier himself, who 
could never remain long in one place, and who was, I think, repri- 
manded by Ignatius for his "Basque restlessness," undoubtedly felt 
the influence of dromomania. No less so did the famous de Smet, 
the Rocky Mountain missioner. 

One finds "pyromaniacs" (firebugs) too in the Society. Some 
are "candle fiends," always enthused about illuminations. With 
one such I was intimate when in the Order. Poor fellow, he has 
since died. He was melancholic and restless, the one joy of his 
life being to light fires. Often I accompanied him on long walks 
in the country, and he never failed on such walks to set something 
or other on fire. His fatal illness developed by reason of his 
staying up all night to watch the smouldering of a fire that had 
broken out in the house in which he was staying. When dying 
the chief craving he felt was for the heat of a fire and the cheer- 
fulness of its blaze. 

Early in the training period of the Order a very definite effort 
is made to create a "mother-fixation" on the Society. The rules 
abound with repetitions of the phrase "Our Holy Mother the 
Society." Particular virtues are to be cultivated in this sense. 
"All must love poverty as a Mother," etc. The Master of 
Novices instils this attitude of mind into the novices, trying as it 
were to transfer to the Society the love that novices feel for their 
real mothers. Sentimental "child-mother" songs are sung in the 
Order, in which some such refrain as that used by French Jesuits 

"Oh! Ma mere, Oh Compagnie!" ("Oh! My mother, Oh 
Society!") This "mother-fixation" is especially approved of, as it 
engenders an attitude of childlike docility and simplicity towards 
Superiors; an attitude held up as "the true spirit of the Society." 

It is well known to psycho-analysts that a "mother-fixation" 
exercises a very unhealthy influence. Psycho-analysts do not of 
course find fault with honest, sincere love of mother and true 
appreciation of the value of a mother's devotion, but they have 
nothing but distrust of that sentimental absorption in a mother 

150 The Jesuit Enigma 

that emasculates a man, and unfits him for independent determi- 
nation of his own career. It invariably initiates a tendency 
towards some perverse form of sexuality; more often than not 
it makes men homosexual. 

One has a right therefore to look for some significant feature 
in the conduct of those Jesuits in whom the "mother-fixation" 
towards the Order is especially strong. And it is, I believe, to be 
found in the suspiciousness and spitefulness that characterise a type 
of Jesuit I have described a few pages back. 

The Order is, of course, not without solicitude for its suffering 
members. In the case of Jesuits who are physically sick, the best 
available medical assistance is usually afforded them. Those, 
however, who are sick in mind, who suffer from neuroses, are less 
fortunate. The Order regards such sufferers as victims of their 
own spiritual shortcomings. "Mens sana y in anima -pia?' (a sound 
mind in a pious soul), is an implicit Jesuit motto. Either the 
neurosis is a "temptation of the devil," or due to a lack of hu- 
mility, or of prayer, or of obedience, or of mortification. 

The Jesuit method of treatment for the neurotics of the Order 
was reduced to a system by the fifth General of the Society, 
Claudius Acquaviva, in a treatise called Industries. The full title 
of the treatise reads: "Instructions for Superiors of the Society in the 
curing of diseases of the Soul" It gives the precepts of spiritual 
medicine (medicinse spirituals prsecepta), and explains "the many 
things that are necessary; and that concern the doctor himself, 
(medicum ipsum), and the patient, (infirmum)." The Superior, 
irrespective of his temperament, experience or skill in psychology, 
is ipo factOy "the doctor himself." The patient has no choice but 
to submit to his treatment. Both are under obedience to the 
"Industrise," and both have been trained to think and believe that 
for a Jesuit obedience is more precious than "the gift of raising the 
dead to life" (St. Ignatius) . 

There is perhaps no official document of the Jesuits that throws 
so much light on the inner working and mentality of the Society 
as the "Industrie." It frankly exposes the sixteen classes of 
maladies that afHict Jesuits. It indicates, too, the species of moral 
faults, existent in the Order, to which these .maladies are to be 
attributed. It puts the reader in possession of all the various kinds 

Jesuit Mind-Healing 151 

of punishment, penance, threat and reprimand that Superiors are to 
make use of in curing these maladies and it reveals the part spying, 
denouncing and equivocation play in government of a Jesuit house, 
and incidentally in the cure of the sick! As is customary with 
official Jesuit documents, it is replete with pious aphorisms and 
worldly wisdom, mixing the one with the other inextricably. It 
regards even such purely natural mental states as depression, hypo- 
chondria and scruples (folie de doute), as being due to super- 
natural causes. It sees wickedness in introversion, and abandon- 
ment of God in extroversion (effusio ad exteriora), and it makes 
of the devil a great arch-complex. 

The Superior, of course, is featured as playing a splendid role. 
He is the kind father; the wise judge; the sagacious ruler; the 
inspired reader of character; and the divine healer. He foresees 
all; disposes of all things well; plays his cards with marvellous 
dexterity; and so works upon the rebellious nature of his patient 
that he brings him back to tears, repentance, good habits and perfect 

The method of dealing with each of the sixteen maladies is 
outlined; how the Superior is to receive the patient; the cheerfulness 
or sternness or love that he is to display; the strategy he is to 
follow in eliciting the patient's confidence; the replies he is to 
give to the patient's questions, and so forth. If he is dealing with a 
patient who is suffering from "secretiveness and lack of openness" 
(profunditas et defectus claritatis) ; a vice that lets in the devil and 
gives him his way; a vice "than which no other vice so resists 
remedies"; the Superior must show himself exceedingly kind and 
friendly, so that the patient's "esteem for the love shown him will 
give birth to confidence." If the Superior is dealing with a 
hypochondriac he must practise pious dissimulation and at first 
pretend' to believe in the* reality of his patient's symptoms. If he 
knows that the patient desires to remain in the house in which he 
is, he must get doctors to recommend a change of location. The 
patient then will insist on stopping where he is, and this being 
allowed, improvement will begin. 

The "Industrie" is in many respects an extraordinary document, 
but in nothing does it so transgress the laws of intelligibility as in 
explaining beforehand to the neurotic patients the various tricks 

152 The Jesuit Enigma 

that are to be 'played upon them in order to hoax them and coax 
them into good health. For the "Industrie" is placed in the hands 
of every Jesuit; potential patient as well as Superior. It is in the 
Thesaurus Spiritualis (the Jesuit prayer and rule book) that every 
Jesuit receives on the morning he makes his first vows. 

Frankly it is a baffling puzzle why the Order published this 
document- if it intended it to be used for its professed purpose. 
Any Jesuit psycho-neurotic can, before he betakes himself to his 
Superior for treatment, read a full account of all that he is going to 
say and all that his Superior is going to do. Perhaps the Order 
did not think that subjects would read this document. Or, what is 
more likely, the Order may not have placed much faith in its 
own method of psycho-therapy. Be that as it may, the "Industrie" 
is the official Jesuit contribution to the science of mind-healing 
(as the "Ratio" is the official Jesuit contribution to education), and 
the role that Freud has played in recent years was attempted by 
Acquaviva in the last decade of the sixteenth century. 

Perhaps, at this point, it may be well to forestall a "refutation" 
that will certainly be attempted. I shall be accused of misinter- 
preting this treatise and of criticising from the standpoint of psycho- 
therapy a work of a purely spiritual character, which has in view 
the removal of moral defects alone. It will be affirmed that 
Acquaviva had no such thought as to write about neurology, and 
that it is unfair to assume that he wished to pose as a neurologist. 

The answer is not difficult to find. Acquaviva says distinctly, in 
reference to "imaginary sickness" (imaginatio infirmitatis), to 
which he devotes a whole chapter, that "these are human infrrmitiesy 
to be borne with patiently, and treated in a gentle way" (has 
sunt infirmitates humanas, toleranda? patienter et curanda; suaviter) . 
Surely this makes it clear that his "Industrie" had not in 
view moral faults alone. Again, in the * same chapter, he gives 
what for his age was a tolerably good description of a psycho- 
neurosis, although all psycho-neurotics are for him "melancholici" 

"The melancholic is peculiar in his impressions and imaginings; 
and it sometimes happens that although no change occurs in his 
body he will come to believe that he is fully restored to health . . . 
and subsequently is able to do great things." Here once more we 

Jesuit Mind-Healing '153 

see clearly that Acquaviva had in mind diseases that were in no 
sense moral. 

As a matter of fact some credit should be accorded to Acquaviva 
for his realisation of the efficacy of suggestion of the Coue kind. 
He makes the Superior promise his patient that he will shortly be 
well again, "so that he may little by little lay aside his idea of 
sickness and affirm that already he is feeling better" (ita ut paulatim 
ipsemet hanc cogitationem deponat, asseratquese jam melius habere). 

The misfortune is that Acquaviva shut his eyes to the fact that 
at the basis of most of the "spiritual diseases" he treated of, there 
lay purely natural causes, and that he insisted on applying pious 
remedies and punishments, some of" which were atrociously cruel, 
as though by stimulating the fear of God the sick mind could be 
healed. Who will doubt that such diseases as "aridity," "distracti- 
bility," "languor and debility of spirit," "secretiveness," "melan- 
choly and scruples," "imaginary disease," etc., are basically amoral 
states of mind or tendencies? Yet Acquaviva deals with them as 
though they were moral disabilities. 

The Jesuit diseases of soul are classified as follows, under six- 
teen heads. 

(1) Aridity and distraction in prayer, together with desolation 
in devotion. 

(2) Languor and debility in spirit and in virtue. 

(3) Defective obedience. 

(4) Absorption in external things, (effusio ad exteriora). 

(5) Love of Precedence and Dignity, (amor excellentise et 

(6) Tendencies towards carnal pleasures and intimacies, (in- 
,clinatio ad sensualitates et amicitias). 

(7) Secretiveness and lack of openness, (profunditas et defectus 

(8) Anger, impatience and aversion from other Jesuits. 

(9) Laxity in observing rules and laxity of conscience. 

(10) Imagined sickness, with a seeking for repose and refusal 
of duty. 

(n) Temptation against the Institute and against rules which 

154 The Jesuit Enigma 

(12) Temptation against the Superior, together with aversion 
from him and distrust in him. 

(13) Worldliness and diplomacy in insinuating oneself into 
the friendship and favour of externs. 

(14) Obstinacy, pertinacity and argumentativeness. 

(15) Disturbance of the peace and sowing of discords and 

(16) Melancholy and scruples. 

To each of these "diseases" a chapter is devoted, containing an 
analysis of the malady, and directing the Superior how he is to 
treat it, and what his attitude should be. He is reminded of Saint 
Basil's opinion, that "there Is nothing in human nature which 
cannot be healed by diligence; nor any vice so grave as not to be 
cdnquered by the fear of God" He is told that he must convince 
his patient that he is sick and make him examine his conscience so 
that he may come to realise the fact himself. 

If he cannot see for himself that he is sick he must at least 
believe that he is. In spiritual diseases, unlike bodily diseases, the 
patient is ignorant of his malady and shuns medicine and treatment. 
The Superior needs to have and to empldy nine "spices" (aromata) ; 
three of the mind, compassion, zeal, discretion; three of the tongue, 
restraint, eloquence and persuasiveness; three of the hand, chastity, 
pity, patience! He will find all the remedies he needs close to 
hand; the Jesuit Constitutions must be his 'pharmacy. In this 
pharmacy are to be found all the drugs he requires. And he must 
be guided by the principles of the Constitutions in curing his 
patients, above all by the great principle of opposition! Contraries 
to contraries! Humiliation to cure pride; silence .to cure talkative- 
ness; work to cure idleness; watching to cure sloth; fasting to 
cure gluttony; isolation to cure criticism; in fine, the patient must 
be pulled in the direction opposite to that in which he is going! 
Such is the fundamental principle of Jesuit psycho-therapy. 

In two respects Acquaviva forestalled Freud. He forestalled 
Freud's "golden rule" of telling all. He enacted that the patient 
must be coaxed into recounting in full the troubles of his soul 
to his Superior. Then he forestalled Freud's "transference." The 
sick Jesuit has to be persuaded that his Superior abounds in charity 

Jesuit Mind-Healing 155 

'for him, so that love and trust (a "transference") may be 
secured. Acquaviva arms the Superior with all kinds of pious sub- 
terfuges and tactics of holy equivocation, wherewith he may win 
his patient's affection and confidence. 

But there are other principles and methods of Jesuit psycho- 
therapy that psycho-analysts would heartily repudiate ; penances, pun- 
ishments, humiliations, "caustic" admonitions, "terrorising threats," 
and denunciations to higher Superiors. In the course of describing 
the method of treatment prescribed by Acquaviva, in some of the 
maladies enumerated above, these elements will appear. 

First of all, we shall describe the Jesuit method of dealing with 
the disease called "Absorption in external things" 

The kind of Jesuit who becomes wholly engrossed in external 
affairs is one whom we should nowadays call an extrovert. His 
extroversion is for him an escape from the impossibility of facing 
continual asceticism. Subconsciously at least, he is defending him- 
self against threatening depression and insanity. He feels, as so 
many Jesuits feel, that unless they "do something," "they will go 
mad." And he begins to engage in external activities without his 
Superior's full approval. Suddenly, his activities are interrupted 
and he is given "treatment," not at his own request, but because 
his Superior believes he needs it. There are two possible causes 
of the disease of "absorption" according to Acquaviva. The first 
is "a certain restlessness and mobility of nature"; the second "in- 
terior aridity which leads to a seeking of solace in other than 
spiritual things." 

If the first cause is at work, however much the "patient" be held 
in and directed, there is little hope of his becoming "an interior 
man" unless, "through a very special grace, together with his own 
careful and strong self-control, and through frequent acts by which 
he represses himself." He is to be put at pious and useful works; 
frequently he must retire to his room to read devout books; he must 
recite the Psalms; examine his conscience, and altogether ab- 
stain from exterior things. He is to learn caution, humility, 
and self -contempt, by considering the various kinds of vices which 
occur in such as he; loquacity; curiosity; impatience; silly con- 
versation; flattery; vanity; murmuring; criticising, and so forth. 

156 The Jesuit 

Full of confusion, he must learn to be more obedient, mortified 
and more devoted to abject offices. 

If "Absorption in external things" arises from aridity in prayer, 
occasions of going abroad are to be taken away from him. "He 
must abstain from all visiting, not for one .or two weeks alone, but 
for some months, so that he may grow, accustomed to remain at 
home, even though he be unwilling to do so." He must most 
faithfully obey the rule of not talking with externs unless with 
the permission of his Superior. He must practise frequent exami- 
nation of conscience, "raising his mind to God and saying with 
confusion (cum confusione), in one breath, 'Behold, Lord, my 
humility and my labour.' " Twice a day he must read spiritual 
books. He must continually use the rosary, with sighs and com- 
punction; and repeat without ceasing verses from Scripture which 
excite sorrow for sin. He must make the "Spiritual Exercises" for 
several days. He must resist his impetuosity, and understand that 
"unless he bring force to bear on himself and, as it werey bind 
himself with chains" he will not make progress. In fine, he must 
give himself wholly to -the most intense spirituality. 

One wonders what the effect on the nerves of an extrovert would 
be if he adopted this uncompromising programme of repression of 
natural tendencies. It is certainly a "kill or cure" treatment. 

The disease, "Love of Precedence and Dignity" is treated by 
public and private humiliations and penances; employment in ab- 
ject offices; and enforced association with persons who are ab- 
horrent to the patient. "Languor and Debility in Spirit" is treated 
by applying stimulating remedies (remedia stimulantia), such as 
the awakening of the fear of death and hell in the patient; accord- 
ing extra time for prayer and spiritual reading, together with a 
special short retreat at the end of whiph he is to renew his vows. 
Particular virtues and mortifications are also prescribed. The 
patient who is predisposed to sensuality, besides various penances, 
prayers, mortifications and so forth, must "when he meets 
externs or visits them beware of indulging in jokes, amus- 
ing stories, or in recounting and listening to novelties; and should 
such trivialities occur, he must interrupt with some pious conver- 


From the point of view of studying the spirit of the Society of 

Jesuit Mind-Healing 157 

Jesus, as manifested in its system of psycho-therapy, by far the most 
interesting chapter is that devoted to the treatment of those suffering, 
from "Temptations against the Institute and against rules which 
displease" This disease is "full of danger and very difficult to 
cure, especially in the older fathers." Those suffering from it 
"are wont most carefully to conceal it" except from such as they 
can contaminate with their ideas. It is only through inadvertence 
that they betray its presence. 

That it should be considered a disease, to have critical views as 
regards the perfectly fallible laws of a religious Order, will 
strike ordinary people as very strange. All the more so will it 
appear extraordinary that this so-called disease should be regarded 
as a temptation (of the devil), when we recall that several of 
these Jesuit laws and constitutions had been criticised and con- 
demned by various Popes. Nevertheless, since the Order was im- 
movably fixed in its resolution to suffer no interference with its 
Constitutions, it regarded it as devilish in a subject to harbour 
critical thoughts about them. In the eyes of the Order this disease 
besides being deadly is contagious, and hence all its energies are 
mobilised in an effort to extirpate it. 

"First of all therefore prayers are to be imposed upon the com- 
munity as for one gravely and dangerously ill, before the treatment 
of the patient begins." Next, "this gravely and dangerously ill" 
free-thinker in the bosom of the Society must be induced to reveal 
his conscience with confidence to his Superior, and to manifest in 
what respects he is tempted against the Institute; whether his 
temptation is of long standing; what originated it; what increased 
it; to whom he communicated it; and so forth. If his difficulties 
are due to misunderstandings they are to be explained away, but if 
the difficulties are too great for the Superior to explain away, the 
latter is to send his "gravely and dangerously ill" subject and 
patient to the Provincial, who is supposed to be a specialist in all 
that concerns the Constitutions. 

Hence we must now visualise this good but tempted Father, enter- 
ing the presence of his Provincial, who has already been fore- 
warned, and seating himself nervously before him, having first 
been embraced, with the kiss of charity (the amplexus). 

Father Provincial now begins to question him in order to dis- 

158 The Jesuit JLni,gma 

cover the gravity of his malady. Is it the diversity bf gracles in 
the Society that he disapproves of; or the deferring of profession; 
or the immense power of Superiors; or the manifestation of 
conscience; or the denunciation of defects and of other things by 
any one who knows of them outside confession? Next, the Pro- 
vincial makes a spirited assault upon his patient (aggregiatur 
hominem), pointing out to him the gravity of his disease, so that he 
may realise that, unless he take great care, he will no longer enjoy 
peace in the Society, nay even will fail to persevere. "Bracing 
himself to his task, let him (the Provincial) first of all ask if 
he did not know about these Constitutions during his novitiate, and 
at his various renovations of vows?" No doubt the reply will 
be that he knew of these things but did not fully understand them, 
but that later on his eyes were opened and he perceived their 
meaning more clearly. The Provincial is then to point out the 
danger of having one's eyes "badly opened" (male apertos), as 
was the case with Adam and Eve. Prudence of the flesh gives to 
one's eyes an unholy vision, of which innocence happily deprives one. 
The carnal light of natural intelligence illumines differently from 
the light of the Holy Spirit. This carnal light must be cut off 
so that the Holy Light may be turned on. "The prudence of the 
flesh is death," as Saint Paul said. 

Next, the sick man is to be shown that almost none of these 
things that he finds fault with in the Constitutions are new. They 
are taken from the holiest founders of Religious Orders and from 
the most ancient Fathers (antiquissimis patribus). 

The fact that the Constitutions were enacted by General Con- 
gregations; examined by many fathers renowned for their learning 
and virtue; and confirmed by several Popes; is also to be pointed 
out, together with the fact that recently Sixtus V of happy memory 
had again instituted an examination of them at the hands of 
some theologians and very grave Cardinals, and had made no 
change whatever (nihil plane ille immutavit) . 

Here, we must intervene for a moment in this interesting inter- 
view, to query this statement, put in the mouth of the Provincial 
by Father General Acquaviva. Sixtus V, "of happy memory," had, 
as Fr. Campbell, S.J., states, 1 become convinced "that there .was 
1 Hist., p. 213. 

Jesuit- Mind-Healing 159 

something radically wrong with the Society." Furthermore he 
had made a very fundamental change in one of the "essentials" of 
the Constitutions, namely the name of the Order. "One thing, 
however, Sixtus V insisted on" (ibid.} "and that was the change 
of the name, and he therefore ordered Acquaviva to send in a 
formal request to that effect. There was nothing to do but to 
submit and the Pope signed the brief." Acquaviva, however, was 
able to get this matter hushed up as Sixtus died immediately after. 
The "sick" Jesuit would, of course, not be supposed to know about 
such matters, even though they concerned the Constitutions. The 
fact that his vision gave him to see eye to eye with Popes did not 
gainsay the fact that his eyes were "badly opened." 

Returning now to the interview, . we find Father Provincial 
setting himself to disperse the darkness of his patient's mind, and he 
does so by imputing low and selfish motives to him. '"The diversity 
of grades no doubt displeases you, because you wish to be a professed 
father and you are only a coadjutor! You want to hold fast to 
your secrets, and so you complain of manifestation of conscience? 
You dislike being denounced by others for your misdeeds because 
you hate to have your refutation lessened! At the back of your 
criticism of the Constitutions there Is moral evil." 

Father Provincial does not lose his opportunity to refer to 
scandals in other Orders. "In other Orders where these Consti- 
tutions of Ours do not exist, there are very many exceedingly ill- 
content, and others openly apostatising." 

The Provincial having sufficiently asserted his authority by in- 
sulting his "sick" patient, grows pious and reminds him of how the 
Blessed Virgin and the Angels witnessed his vow to live in the 
Society content with its rule, and intent on perfection. "If the 
trouble lies, as it may, in the way some Superiors have administered 
the Constitutions, such trouble can of course be eliminated without 
the Constitutions being changed. But, do Superiors govern ill? 
How is it that so many very grave and learned men praise the 
whole administration of the Order? How is it that they do not 
see the evils complained of? "Would you," asks Fr. Provincial, 
of his now utterly crushed patient, "if there were not question of 
some private interests of your own, be so prone to criticise? How 

i6o The Jesuit JLnigma 

easily we are misled when we are judging in our own case and 
judging ourselves!" 

Then Fr. Provincial considers it is time to bring the interview 
to a close. He concludes as follows: "Now, my dear Father, you 
are to make spiritual exercises and meditate very seriously on the 
benefits of your vocation and on your obligation to strive after 
perfection. "You are also to make a general confession. I am sure 
your difficulties will disappear. Things will not prove as bad as 
you suspect. You have allowed your imagination to aggravate 
your trouble. I will always be ready to explain things to you. 
Under no circumstances are you to communicate your doubts about 
the Constitutions to others. If you do so, or If you display any 
further Inquietude, I will at once inform Fr. General! Good- 

Thus with a severe spiritual penance, and a terrifying threat of 
expulsion, for that is what "informing the General" implies, the 
sick man is dismissed! Such is the treatment meted out to those 
who are "tempted against the Constitutions" ! It is no wonder that, 
as Acquaviva says, this disease Is especially difficult to cure In the 
older fathers! It is noticeable in the directions of Acquaviva that the 
sick man must be made to confess the source from which he derived 
his critical views of the Constitutions, and also the names of those 
with whom he discussed them. The object of such enquiries was, 
of course, to track down "evil influences" whether they were other 
Jesuits or books. It is noticeable also that the policy of Superiors 
is to refuse to admit the slightest imperfection in the Constitutions, 
and to put down all critical judgment as due to bad faith and 
wickedness. The sick man is hauled up for treatment as a result 
of denunciation; he is made use of by Superiors as a source of 
further information ; and he is treated as a child, as one incapable 
of judging things for himself. A "cure" is expected from this 
mixture of dialectics, insults, threats, piety, penances and dishonest 
misstatements of facts! 

From the modern standpoint one would say without hesitation 
that the Provincial was more in need of psycho-analysis than the 
"sick" Jesuit whose sickness consisted in his protest against precisely 
the kind of thing which we have just described. 

"Disturbance of the Peace, and the Sowing of discords and 

Jesuit Mind-Healing ;i6i 

quarrels** is also a disease that, in the eyes of the Order, calls for 
strong medicine. Those infected are called "pests" and are in- 
formed that their disease encroaches on the borders of grave sin. 
"They must learn that it is no excuse that they did not cause trouble 
intentionally, and that they had no formal purpose of speaking ill 
of others or of the Society. From the nature of their remarks the 
same evils follow, no matter what their purpose may have been." 
They must confess their faults to the Superior and to the Spiritual 
Father; avoid the company of dangerous associates; and never 
discuss government in the Order. They may be publicly repre- 
hended in the refectory before the whole community, and should 
be given penances and prayers of various kinds. "Over and above 
the ordinary syndici (series), certain hidden syndici are to be ap- 
pointed with the object of reporting on this offence, in order that 
public penances and private admonitions may be imposed." Special 
Fathers are to be appointed to turn conversation critical of Superiors 
away from dangerous into healthy channels by warning speakers 
that "it is not safe to say such and such." 

The Jesuit method for treating the disease called "Temptation 
against one's Superior" is interesting in as much as it explicitly 
recommends Machiavellian art. 

A Jesuit Superior delights in, and as far as possible insists on, 
an attitude of childlike confidence, affection, and universal docility 
in all his subjects. He feels very hurt if he notices the absence of 
this attitude in any of his subjects. He may be personally a most 
unlovable, repulsive individual, but he claims in. virtue of his 
position as Christ's representative, unceasing love, devotion, and 
trust. He is always exceedingly sensitive to criticism or "inde- 
pendence" in his subjects. He p'rizes and rewards the clinging, 
cringing attitude of dependence, and looks upon such as display this 
attitude in a marked way as "the true offspring of the Society." 

To distrust, dislike or criticise a Superior 'is therefore a "tempta- 
tion of the devil" a scandal, and a grave sin. The Superior, in 
consequence, has to win back the subject's love and trust, no matter 
how badly he has hitherto treated him, and no matter how persist- 
ently he has dogged his steps with spies, and imputed evil motives 
to him. 

When a Superior finds out that a subject is criticising him and 

1 62 The Jesuit Enigma 

manifesting a dislike for him, his first step is to get the Spiritual 
Father, or the subject's Confessor, to admonish him. He may even 
call upon the Provincial to do so. For himself, if the subject comes 
to him, "he is to show that he does not know" what the subject has 
been doing or saying. He is to receive the subject "with a joyous 
face" (hilari fronte), and to coax him to manifest himself, for un- 
less he does so peace is impossible! He is to discover the workings 
of the subject's mind and to persuade him that whatever he (the 
Superior) did in his regard was done out of charity. 

"Let the Superior recount all that he has done for the subject, 
mentioning witnesses of this thing or that. Let him prove that 
the penances which he enjoined were only ordinary penances! If 
he made enquiries (through spies, syndici} or sought to find out 
anything about him it was because his conscience forced him to do 
so> in view of certain matters that had been reported about him, 
which although he did not readily believe, nevertheless he was 
obliged as a pastor to probe to the bottom. If it happened that he 
showed less trust in him than in others, not giving him this or that 
office, it was either because externs had asked for some one else by 
name, or because the duty was such as was not calculated to benefit 
him spiritually, or because Ours or externs took offence at his way 
of doing things." 

The Superior next promises to show all kinds of trust and af- 
fection, and invites his subject to come for a longer chat! Each is 
to pray for the other all is to be guided by love in the future. 
Love is not less active in punishing than in cherishing and praising. 
The Superior is to be exceedingly amiable and to avoid arguments. 
Later on when the fever of dislike grows less in the subject he is 
to be warned about his more grave faults. Above all, the Superior 
is to secure that the subject come more often to him, being convinced 
that he is regarded by the Superior as his -most dear child. He is to 
give the subject little offices; preaching, exhorting Nuns, and some 
small missions to Prelates and suchlike; but he must avoid endan- 
gering the work or the reputation of the Society. Needless to say, 
unless in the case of an absolute simpleton, the subject sees through 
the pretended love and confidence thus displayed. He sees in it a 
foolish and insincere effort at make-believe, and at the artificial 
production of an impossible emotional response. "Last of all the 

Jesuit Mind-Healing 163 

Superior is to try everything through himself and others suitable for 
the work, to allay the subject's suspicions, and to awaken in him the 
recognition of his (the Superior's) love, for unless this is done no 
kind of medicine will be of any profit." 

Such is the spiritual Machiavellianism of the Jesuit mind-healer! 

The psycho-therapy of the Order has among other characteristics 
two especially noticeable: the handing out of prayer-books and the 
flourishing of the big stick. The interest of the patient is quite 
obviously subordinated to that of the Order; and one remarks a 
distinct tendency to regard those "maladies" as particularly grave 
and dangerous that threaten to embarrass the Order. Two of the 
"maladies," and two only, are called "temptations" thereby em- 
phasising their diabolical character. These two are, as we should 
suspect, the diseases which consist in thinking ill of the Constitutions, 
and in thinking distrustfully of Superiors ("Tentatio contra Insti- 
tutum" ; "Tentatio contra Suferiorem"} . 

Although many of the "maladies" are, as we have said, founded 
in neurotic conditions, only on one occasion, I think, is there a sug- 
gestion that the patient should be allowed more exercise, and more 
sleep, as well as additional delicacies at table, but these exemptions 
are to be coaxed back from the patient "after a few days" One 
must conclude that the Order thought it better to let the patient rot 
in his malady than to upset "common life." Of course this in- 
humanity is not, and probably never was, enforced to any great 
extent, but the important point is that it is the official doctrine of 
the Order it shows "the Mind of the Order." One wonders 
why there is only one vague reference in the "Industrial" to the in- 
numerable eccentricities, delusions, phobias, and hysterias that must 
have been as rampant in the Society' in the days of Acquaviva as they 
are to-day. Probably they were all lumped together under the 
heading "movements of the spirits," and considered to have been 
sufficiently dealt with by Ignatius in his rules for the "discernment 
of Spirits," as laid down in the Spiritual Exercises. Anyhow 
Acquaviva has nothing to say about them. 

Like so much else in the Jesuit Order, the "Industrial," together 
with all its precepts and methods, is a sham and a pretence. Were 
it not so it would not have been published for Superiors and Subjects 

164 The Jesuit Enigma 

alike. The publication beforehand of all that the Subject and 
Superior are going to say and do, and the description of the strategy 
that the latter is going to employ in order to surprise the former into 
a cure, deprives the document of any value it could possibly have as 
a method of treatment. Not one Superior in a hundred studies it 
seriously, and if he does so, it is probably only with a view to finding 
appropriate Latin phrases with which to describe, in a letter to the 
General, the vices of members of his community. One wonders if 
the works of Freud will in days to come serve a like purpose, and if 
budding writers will skim his pages with the sole purpose of 
finding words to describe more graphically the sexual abnormalities 
of characters they are analysing. 



THE Jesuit General Visconti, writing in July, 1752, stated: 
"the fact cannot be hidden that, for a long time there were scarcely 
any Latin schools except Ours, or at any rate so few that the parents 
were obliged against their will to send their children to us. But 
now there are in many places many schools which rival Ours and 
there is danger that they may be strengthened while the numbers 
in Ours decrease and their reputation wanes." 

Over two hundred years had passed since Ignatius initiated 
the great Jesuit educational campaign. When this campaign opened 
higher education was confined to the fifty great Universities of 
Europe, at each of which immense numbers of boys and young men 
were thrown together in considerable disorder. They had to study 
amid much hardship and danger to health and morals. At Paris, 
there were, for instance, some 40,000 students, spread among its 
fifty colleges. At Oxford there were 30,000. Heresy flourished at 
these centres, and there was little discipline save in the monastic col- 
leges affiliated to the Universities. Pious Catholics were terrified 
at the thought of sending their sons to study at hot-beds of vice, 
such as Padua, Paris or Louvain, and they eagerly supported 
Ignatius' enterprise when he began' to open colleges and Universi- 
ties that rivalled the older ones in learning and surpassed them in- 
finitely in discipline. 

Before Ignatius died there were thirty-five Jesuit colleges, and 
within two hundred years this number had grown to seven hundred 
and fifty, scattered through the world and educating, at a conserva- 
tive estimate, a quarter of a million students. Meanwhile, in 1599, 
the famous Jesuit Ratio, or educational method, had been per- 
fected, and published in its final form. It was built upon "those 
principles of sane pedagogy soberly laid down by Ignatius in the 
fourth part of his Constitutions." 


1 66 The Jesuit Enigma 

"Partly in themselves," wrote Francis Bacon, 1 "and partly by 
the emulation and provocation of their example, the Jesuits have 
much quickened the state of learning." And Leopold von Ranke 
confessed 2 that "it was found that young people (in those days) 
'gained more with the Jesuits in six months than with other teachers 
in two years." 

We have, however, to turn to a recent Jesuit writer on education, 
Fr. T. Hughes, S.J., for a graphic account of Jesuit educational 
successes. 8 "In a short official career of sixteen years," writes 
Fr. Hughes, "Ignatius had the gratification of seeing a new and 
vast educational policy crowned with success. In spite of the active 
opposition which powerful interests in Rome and elsewhere led 
against him . . . thanks to the labour of Ignatius, the monopoly of 
education was broken down; the old Universities were no longer 
either the sole depositories of superior instruction or the arbiters of 
the intellectual life of Europe; and all the best learning which the 
most accomplished men could impart, was now being given 
gratuitously. . . . And whereas it is put down to the credit of 
Germany, that sixteen of the old Universities had risen on its soil, 
now in the German Assistancy of the Society there arose more than 
sixteen Jesuit Universities, besides 200 colleges. And in virtue of 
papal charters, it was already an accomplished fact, that all the 
powers of Universities, with regard to the degrees of Bachelor, 
Master, Licentiate, and Doctor were vested in the Head of the 
Order, who could delegate the same to subordinate Superiors. No 
wonder all the faculties of Christendom considered the Order an 
intruder and aggressor. It might be considered so to-day. Free 
and universal education was at the door of all. . . . We shall have 
to wait a few centuries more, even beyond the nineteenth century, 
before we come to such education given universally and given 

The Universities of Paris, Louvain, and Salamanca certainly did 
not open their arms to welcome the newcomers in the educational 
field. They showed resentment against the "gratuitous system of 

1 Advancement of Learning. 

2 Hist, of Papacy, I, V, 3. 

3 Loyola and the Educational System of the Jesuits, Heinemann, 1904, 
p. 118. 

Jesuit Education 167 

education," which as we shall see was gratuitous in appearance 
rather than in reality ; and they heartily disliked the air of superiority 
that the new teachers assumed. This "air of superiority" will be 
apparent to any one who turns over the pages of the "preliminary 
Ratio." * "Whatever is the custom in other Universities," it says, 
"our method is very different from theirs, so that no less progress 
can be made in our schools during four years than in others during 
five; because our Professors are for the most fart more laborious', 
we have more numerous exercises; our Society , as standing in need 
of -many workmen, requires that perfection of science which Is 
necessary for Its members, not that otiose method of others; who, 
having no motive of this kind to make them expeditious divide up 
into many lectures what could well be treated in fewer." 

In order to estimate the cause of the success of Ignatius' educa- 
tional enterprise we must bear in mind not only the novelty of the 
idea, and the reputation of the Jesuits, but also the dire necessities 
of Catholicism. Heresy was making enormous strides in northern 
Europe owing in great part to the ignorance and vicious morals of 
the clergy. Erasmus, writing to a friend in 1521, stated: "The 
corruption of the Church, the degeneracy of the Holy See are uni- 
versally admitted. Reform has been loudly asked for and I doubt 
whether in the whole history of Christianity the heads of the 
Church have been so grossly worldly as the present moment." The 
only hope for the Church was the setting up of thoroughly orthodox 
schools, where Catholicism would be taught as well as good morals. 
This was the crying need of the times as far as Catholics were con- 
cerned, and it was precisely this need that Ignatius set himself to 
supply. He furnished himself with full papal approval of his 
project, and he found little difficulty in inducing rich and pious 
Catholic nobles to finance his scheme. 

Ignatius would only undertake to open colleges when abundant 
funds were forthcoming and when the sites chosen suited him in 
every way. He preferred to settle in large cities, "leaving the val- 
leys for St. Bernard's monks; the mountains for the Benedictines; 
and the towns for the Franciscans." 

"Bernardus valles, montes Benedictus amabat, 

Oppida Franciscus, magnas Ignatius urbes." 
4 Cf, Hughes, p. 232. 

1 68 The Jesuit Enigma 

As Fr. Orlandini, the Jesuit historian, tells us, "Ignatius preferred 
to refuse Princes and Bishops their requests (to found colleges), 
excusing himself on the score of limited resources, than to compro- 
mise the reputation of the Society by ill-advised consent." He would 
only undertake to found a college on his own terms* These terms 
were in brief a good site; a populous and important locality; an 
abundant foundation without any conditions attached, sufficient not 
only for the running of the college but for its future development, 
as well as the maintenance and training of a large number of young 
Jesuits destined to continue the work of the college. 

Ignatius and his followers believed in the value of advertise- 
ment. They opened their colleges with great pomp and splendour, 
and renewed at stated intervals the impression thus formed by osten- 
tatious displays of learning before distinguished audiences gathered 
together for the purpose. At the opening of the Jesuit college at 
Munich in 1576, for instance, we read that "the students, dressed 
in Roman costumes acted a play entitled 'Constantine/ and after 
the performance was over, forty of them, clad in steel armour, 
accompanied the 'Imperator' on horseback through the town, as he 
rode in triumph in a Roman Quadriga." 5 

On "Academy Days" prizes were distributed amid music and 
applause, in the presence of all the grandees that could be induced to 
be present. The Prefect of Studies, 6 had to see to it that "the 
ceremonies be conducted with exceptional solemnity, and with as 
large an attendance as possible of our own members and men of 
learning and high position from other quarters. . . . On the day 
appointed the names of winners are to be publicly announced with 
all manner of pomp and before a numerous audience. The prizes 
are then to be handed to the winners amid applause and the sound 
of music." 

There was nothing particularly original in the Jesuit method of 
teaching. Old methods were adopted, and applied. There was, how- 
ever, a better arrangement of classes, and a more exact system of 
gradation. "Elsewhere," wrote Fr. Ribadeneira, Ignatius' friend, 
"one Professor has many grades of scholars before him; he ad- 
dresses himself at one and the same time to scholars who are at the 

B Die Jesuiten in Baiern, 1874, Kluckholn. 

6 Cf. Ratio, rule 12. 


Jesuit Education 169 

bottom, midway, and at the top; and he can scarcely meet the de- 
mands of each. But, in the Society, we distinguish one rank of 
scholars from another, dividing them into their own classes and 
orders, and separate professors are placed over each." The Jesuits 
relied on the scholastic method of teaching; definite bits of knowl- 
edge were explained, proved, criticised, repeated, disputed, and 
learned by heart. They also followed the teaching traditions of 
Paris and Louyain, and of the Strassburg School of Johann Sturm. 
"The earlier Jesuits" wrote a recent General, 7 "did not invent new 
methods of teaching but adapted, the best methods of their age" 
Very wisely, however, Ignatius decided to support the humanistic 
trends in culture, and emphasised the teaching of the classics and 
Hebrew. Latin, above all, became the forte of the Society, and to 
this day in the Society it is considered a moral weakness, or at least 
a disedifying imperfection, to be without fluency in Latin writing 
and speaking. 

Fr. Hughes, whom we have already quoted as a modern Jesuit 
authority, thus admits the indebtedness of the Society to older edu- 
cational methods.'* "The old University system of mediaeval 
Europe, particularly that of Paris, can look down from its silent 
and solemn place in history as the direct progenitor of the 'Ratio 
Studiorum.' 'We, too, have been taught by others,' said Fr. 
Possevino, S.J., in 1592. Indeed, as is evident, the last thing which 
the system seems to dream of, which never in fact crossed the path 
of its vision, is that it is playing the role, perchance, of a pedagogic 
adventurer or courting notice by some new and striking departure. 

No doubt in its integrity it is singularly the system of the Jesuits, 
and in a multitude of practical elements it embodies the elaborate 
experience of one practical organisation of men. But, none the 
less, if we look down for its foundations, we pass through the 
Renaissance of letters, and find the traditions of Scholastic Europe; 
and further down still in the stratification of .history, we come to 
the principles of education as defined by Aristotle, Plato, and 

Since 1599 there has been little change or modification in the 
"Ratio." It is now a little less intolerant of the study of the ver- 
nacular and slightly more attentive to the demands of physical sci- 

7 Fr. Wernz, in 1910. Cf. p. 285. 

170 The Jesuit Enigma. 

ence, but as the Jesuit General Roothan wrote in 1832, "the study 
of Latin and Greek must always remain intact and be the chief 
object of attention" And Fr. Hughes admits that "the modifica- 
tions of the old Ratio have been few." The educational systems of 
the world have gone ahead, developing, evolving, progressing, but 
the Jesuit system has remained unchanged and unchangeable ! 

The Fourth Part of the Jesuit Constitutions which has to do with 
studies, and is the basis of the "Ratio," has chiefly in mind the studies 
of Jesuit recruits. It considers the needs of the Society, and the 
mental training of its future members. And, indeed, it is a fair 
and fundamental criticism of the "Ratio," that it was primarily 
designed for the training of Jesuits, and subsequently adapted to 
some extent to the educational needs of layboys. Jesuit education 
is avowedly directed to apostolic ends. "Sciences are to be taught 
in such a way that our fellow creatures may by them be aroused to 
the knowledge and love of our Creator and Redeemer." Polanco, 
Ignatius' secretary, writing to the Duke of Bavaria, in 1551, said: 
"Jesuits must begin by undertaking preparatory teaching with pro- 
fessors capable of inspiring their young students little by little with 
a love of theology" Learning for learning's sake was in no sense 
the purpose of Jesuit colleges. Nor was it in the mind of Jesuit 
educators to seek to discover new truths or to open up new sciences. 
What they aimed at was to teach old and certain truths and to form 
the minds of their scholars to orthodox thinking. "The training of 
the mind" was the great boast of Jesuit educators, but the training 
they gave was in docility and not originality of intellect. It was a 
training of the will rather than of the mind; a training in religion 
rather than in the analysis of ideas. 

Furthermore Ignatius avowedly undertook the Working of col- 
leges in order that a supply of suitable subjects might be attracted 
to the Society. He found before long that his original idea of, fill- 
ing his ranks with already trained and scholarly men was imprac- 
ticable, and that the only source of getting a sufficiency of recruits 
was through the colleges and the Universities. The self-interest of 
the Order in educational enterprise is also betrayed in the manner in 
which it utilised colleges founded for the education of the laity 
in educating young Jesuits. We read, in the Rules of Rectors 
of Houses of Studies : "The Society of Jesus undertakes the manage- 

Jesuit Education 171 

ment of schools and Universities in order that our own members 
may be conveniently instructed in knowledge and in all that is 
profitable to the welfare of souls y and may be able to communicate 
to others what they themselves have learnt" 

In the form drawn up by Lainez, Ignatius' successor, "Latin 
Schools" should be able to support twenty Jesuits; Lyceums, fifty 
Jesuits; and Universities, seventy Jesuits. Twenty-four years later 
Acquaviva raised these figures to almost double the number. The 
foundation had to suffice for the provision of the actual professors; 
an adequate supply of lay-brothers; several substitute professors; be- 
sides being ample enough to provide for the formation of Jesuits 
to take the places of the actual professors. 

Turning now to the scheme of studies laid down by the "Ratio" 
in 1599. ^ deals with (i) a literary curriculum, (2) a philosophi- 
cal, (3) a theological curriculum 1 . 

(1) The literary curriculum was adapted to five classes, which 
were sometimes sub-divided. There was a Lower Grammar, a 
Middle Grammar, and an Upper Grammar, followed by Poetry, 
and, highest of all, Rhetoric. In Lower Grammar, Syntax, Rudi- 
ments, Greek Grammar, and as authors, Nepos, Cicero, and Phae- 
drus, were studied; while history, geography and the elements of 
mathematics were to be taught with the other subjects. Middle and 
Upper Grammar went further with the same subjects, and more dif- 
ficult authors were studied. In Lower Grammar the daily lesson was 
four lines of a Latin author; and in Middle Grammar seven. Slow 
but sure progress was aimed at, and foundations were thoroughly 

In Poetry, Latin and Greek versification was taught, and also 
dialectics. Homer, Plato, Virgil, and Horace, were read but al- 
ways in expurgated editions. In Rhetoric, oratorical as well as 
poetical style was taught, and Demosthenes and Thucydides were 
read as well as Pindar. The Greek fathers were also read in 
Poetry and Rhetoric; Chrysostom and Basil in particular. 

(2) The Philosophical Curriculum covered three years. 

First Year Logic, General Metaphysics, and Mathematics (6 

hours weekly). 
Second Year Cosmology, Psychology, Natural Theology, with 

Physics (9 hours weekly) and Chemistry (3 hours weekly). 

172 The Jesuit Enigma 

Third Year Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy, with Mathe- 
matics (3 hours weekly), and Physics (2 hours weekly). 

(3) The Theological Curriculum covered four years. 

Dogmatic theology continued all the time, while during two 
years the following branches of Theology were studied; Moral, 
Canon Law, Ecclesiastical History, and Sacred Scripture. Hebrew 
was studied during one year. 

It would be hardly worth while to enter into all the details and 
secondary characteristics of the "Ratio." It emphasises as we have 
seen the classics, and proposes a great many methods for awakening 
enthusiasm in this study. History, Geography, and Mathematics 
are relegated to very secondary positions. The vernacular was dis- 
tinctly snubbed in the old "Ratio," and even in its amended form in 
1832, there is only a grudging acknowledgment of the importance 
of the vernacular. Sciences are not mentioned, save physics, 
geometry and astronomy, and the minimum of attention was paid 
to them. No prizes were given in any subjects save in classics, and 
when the students were called upon to give "specimens of their 
studies," they always recited bits of Greek or Latin. There were* 
many devices employed by Masters for stirring up rivalry and emu- 
lation by arranging contests between sections of their classes, and 
also by arranging displays of various kinds. 

The custom in the Jesuit colleges was for Masters to go up with 
their classes. The master of Lower Grammar would at the end of 
the year take his class up to Middle Grammar, and so on to Upper 
Grammar and Poetry. This custom is referred to quaintly enough 
in the 2Qth Rule of the Provincial. "Care should be taken to let 
our scholars begin their work as teachers in a class to which they are 
superior in knowledge, so that they may be able to pass on yearly 
with a large proportion of their pupils to a higher division." 

This rule that young Jesuit teachers should "begin their work in 
a class to which they are superior in knowledge" is a sensible one, 
but unfortunately it is not always observed in the Society. Jesuit 
Scholastics are frequently appointed to teach subjects about which 
they know absolutely nothing and usually they are too immature to 
understand anything about "training the minds" of the students 
under them, although such training is supposed to be the essential 
merit of the Ratio. "The characteristics of the Ratio Studiorum," 

Jesuit Education 173 

wrote Fr. Martin, the Jesuit General, in 1892, "are not to be sought 
in the subject matter nor in the order and succession in which the 
different branches are taught, but rather in what may be called the 
'form' or spirit of the system. This form or spirit consists chiefly 
in the training of the mind (efformatio ingenii), which is the object, 
and in the various exercises which are the means of attaining the 

In Jesuit colleges there existed literary academies, but the mem- 
bership was restricted to those who on account of their special piety 
were "Sodalists," that is, members of the Congregation of the 
Blessed Virgin. Plays too were acted from time to time by the boys, 
but the principal parts, if we are to believe Fr. Cordara, S.J., were 
reserved for the sons of the nobility. For there has ever been a 
good deal of snobbery, both religious and social, about Jesuit col- 
leges. Unless pious you were considered ineligible for some things ; 
unless blue blood flowed in your veins you were considered unfit for 
other things. The Prefect of the Gymnasium * had "to assign more 
comfortable seats to aristocratic pvpils" and we read in a "Tracta- 
tus de Magisterio," that "pupils from noble families in 'particular 
must not be caned except for some very serious reason" 

Punishment given in Jesuit colleges was inflicted by an official 
specially employed for the purpose, for it was considered improper 
for a Jesuit to inflict corporal penalties. This rule soon fell into 
abeyance. When I was a boy at Clongowes, and afterwards when 
I was on the teaching staff as a Jesuit, Jesuit Prefects plied strap 
and cane fast and furious. Sometimes boys were given as many as 
forty vigorous cuts with a hard leather strap. "Twice nine," how- 
ever, was the usual limit, or rather "twice nine hard." 

The modern method is doubtless preferable to that laid down in 
the "Ratio," and it saves the Jesuit Superior the expense of paying 
an outside official. It is also less degrading for boys to be whipped 
by their own teachers and prefects, than by college servants. 

When Rhetoric was finished, Jesuit students, lay and clerical 
alike, began their philosophy. This course meant the close study of 
the physics and metaphysics of Aristotle during three years. The 
temptation to encroach on these studies, with a view to finding more 

Cf. Rule No. 29. 

174 The Jesuit Enigma 

time for science, was sternly opposed by the authorities of the Order. 
Thus, as late even as 1883, the General Congregation decreed: 

"Care must, be taken not to interfere with the Ratio Studiorum 
of the Society, nor must any departure be allowed from the pre- 
scribed three years' course of philosophy, for the benefit of Mathe- 
matics or Natural Science." 

The courses of philosophy now given in the Society are no longer 
followed by any save Jesuits and ecclesiastics, but for that reason 
the "Ratio" has suffered all the less change. Scholasticism holds 
the field. Very little is made of modern philosophy, and even 
such thinkers as Kant, Leibnitz, Spinosa, Hegel, or Nietzsche 
are dismissed, refuted, by a few syllogisms. They are neither under- 
stood, explained nor praised. It is against the rules of a Teacher of 
Philosophy to praise unorthodox philosophers. His sixth rule reads: 
"If anything good in them has to be mentioned the Teacher of 
Philosophy must do so without any words of praise, and if possible 
he must show that It is derived from some other source" 

The philosophy of Aristotle is frankly chosen because it is most 
consonant with Scholastic theology. In 1883, ^ Q General Congre- 
gation declared : 10 

"Since the Society of Jesus has decreed the utility of the 'philos- 
ophy of Aristotle for the ends of theology y we are to adhere to it in 
accordance with the regulations laid down in the Statutes, and in 
the scheme of studies; and this, not only in logic and metaphysics, 
but also in Natural Philosophy, from which Aristotle's teaching as 
to the nature and composition of natural bodies must not be omitted. 
// the Provincial Superiors discover that modernisers deviate from 
this philosophy either openly or under specious pretences, and attempt 
to put other views in their place, they are to be deprived of their 
teaching office" 

It is reiterated in various places that philosophy is to be regarded 
as the hand-maid of theology. Thus, the Third General Congrega- 
tion decreed: "The professors of philosophy are to teach philosophy 
in such a manner that it be the hand-maid and servant of Scholastic 
theology which is commended to us by our Constitutions" Again 
and again Superiors are reminded that Professors of Philosophy who 
are "disposed towards innovations of free thinking" are to be re- 
l 36th Decree. 

Jesuit Education 175 

moved from office. 11 "Since novelty or difference of opinion may 
not only hinder the very aim which the Society has set before itself 
to the greater glory of God, but also cause the very existence of the 
Society to totter, it is necessary to check by definite legislation in all 
possible ways intellectual licence (licentiam ingeniorum) y in the 
introduction and pursuit of such opinions." 

It is obvious from decrees and rules such as those quoted above 
that the Society did not aim at discovering new truths, but was con- 
tent to leave things as they were, "to leave well enough alone." It 
did not conceal its suspicion and fear of progressive and independ- 
ent-minded Jesuits, nor did it relish the thought that they might 
stimulate the younger men to think for themselves. It preferred 
to appoint docile-minded nonentities to its chairs of philosophy, 
and to relegate the others to posts where they could do no harm. 
"For the attainment of this end," vvrote Acquaviva, in one of his 
instructions, "it will be of great assistance if by means of careful 
selection only those are admitted to teach 'philosophy and theology 
. . . whose obedience and submissi<ueness are evident; and that all 
those who are not so disposed ... be removed from the teaching 
office and utilised in other operations." 

If one's attitude towards philosophy is taken as the criterion of 
one's intellectual sincerity, what is to be thought of the intellectual 
sincerity of the Jesuit Order? 

The same spirit of coercion of thought prevails in Jesuit theology 
as in Jesuit philosophy, and also the same remoteness from modern 
ways of thinking. A firmly closed system is presented to the stu- 
dent. He must swallow all, whether he understands it or not; 
whether he believes in its utility or not. Only one department of 
Jesuit theology makes any attempt to keep up to date. That de- 
partment, moral theology, has to do with solving "cases of con- 
science," and preparing the priest for the confessional. 

In order to be ready to answer difficulties that the faithful are 
sure to present to him, the priest has to learn how to apply principles 
of morals to birth-control, divorce, gambling, boot-legging, jazz- 
dancing, and so forth. Above all he has to be a kind of specialist 
in sex matters, and he has ample opportunity for studying all kinds 
of sex sins and perversions in works like those of the Jesuit moralist 

11 Cf. 54th Rule of the Provincial. 

176 The Jesuit Enigma 

Sanchez, whose writings would bring blushes to the cheeks of Freud. 
Jesuit students enjoy moral theology, and delight to set cases for 
one another to solve. These cases are set in Latin and solved in 
Latin, but the Latinity does not completely cover the salacity. 
When the time comes during the first or second year of theology 
for setting cases "De Sexto" (about the Sixth Commandment), one 
hears all round one, all day long, Jesuits spinning out yarns of their 
abominable (imaginary) crimes, and seeking for solutions. "Habui 
rem cum puella et . . ." (I made illicit love to a girl and . . .) 
Then, the tale winds up with a "Quid faciendum, Pater" (What 
am I to do, Father? ). Needless to say there is much entertainment 

to be had during this part of Jesuit theology. 

. . 

While studying philosophy at Louvain, as a Jesuit, in the Jesuit 
house at Rue des Recollets, I had as professor of philosophy, a tall, 
handsome Luxemburgeois, Fr. S. He was exceedingly brilliant, 
but most erratic and absent-minded. Having almost killed himself 
by smoking, he had suddenly abandoned his pipe for a snuff-box, 
and when I knew him he was apparently experimenting to see if 
snuff could kill as surely as tobacco. Fr. S. was a martyr to indi- 
gestion ; appallingly lazy ; the speediest and most interminable talker 
I ever listened to; but full of humour and a brilliant metaphysician. 
He ignored rules of all kinds; lectured in French instead of in 
Latin as he was supposed to do; and told very risque stories in class 
from time to time, in order to shock his more pious students. He 
was, of course, "in trouble." His vows had been postponed as a 
punishment. His crime was a most unusual one in the Order. We 
all knew full well what it was. It was a passionate devotion to 
Immanuel Kant. Fr. S. loved and reverenced Kant! "Le Vieux," 
he called him affectionately. "The Old Devil ! " In every lecture 
he paid tribute to Kant. Nothing ever annoyed him so much as a 
stupid criticism of Kant's philosophy. He admired Aquinas, too, 
almost as much as Kant, and he delighted to show how closely 
kindred were the master-thoughts of each. 

Looking back on those days, I cannot understand how Fr. S. was 
allowed to retain his chair of philosophy. It was, of course, a 
kind of blasphemy in the Society to praise Kant. It was a sin to 
read him. It was playing with fire to think his thoughts. All the 

Jesuit Education 177 

other professors were furiously hostile to Kant, but they did not 
dislike Fr. S. He was so utterly erratic and lovable that it was im- 
possible for them to be angry with him. Still his vows were post- 
poned and he was kept in disgrace. 

Then, it was, I think, in 1910, news came that the Jesuit Gen- 
eral was sending a Visitator to Louvain, and Fr. S. knew that his 
fate would be sealed for weal or woe. The Visitator was Fr. 
Ledochowski, the present General of the Order, a dry, dark, foxy 
little man, with piercing eyes, and a nervous, restless manner. At 
that time he had the name of being very broad and enterprising. 
He was of noble Polish stock, and had much influence at Rome. 

Fr. S. knew that if he could make a good impression on the little 
Pole, he would, of course, get his vows, and that would be a victory 
not only for himself but also for "le Vieux." If he could prove 
that he was orthodox all would be well, but how could he prove 
that he was orthodox? He resolved to do his best. 

He looked round his room. It was in terrible disorder. Every 
edition of Kant that was to be found in Louvain was in his room, 
while a picture of the wicked heretic hung on his wall. He col- 
lected all his "Kants" and hid them under his bed. He went to the 
library and carried a few armfuls of Aquinas to his room and 
placed them on his shelves. He next obtained an oleograph of the 
"Angelic Doctor" (Aquinas), and hung it over Immanuel's grim 
face. Then he felt ready for Ledochowski's visit. 

What transpired during the famous interview between Fr. S. 
and the present General none ever knew for certain. Some said 
that Fr. S. convinced him that Kant was a scholastic. Some say that 
he gave him a new insight into Aquinas. Whatever happened, to 
our delight, Fr. S. got his vows, and as soon as Ledochowski left the 
"Angelic Doctor" and his works were removed from S's room, and 
"le Vieux" was enthroned once more. (N. B. The sequel was 
sad, if the news I heard be true. A few years ago Fr. S. was 
ordered to write out his lectures in full, and submit them to the 
Censors of the Society. This, of course, placed him in a hopeless 
position. He couldn't do if:, and so was removed from his chair of 

Before offering some remarks by way of criticism of Jesuit edu- 

178 The Jesuit Enigma 

cational methods I feel it right to record the extent of my acquaint- 
ance with Jesuit colleges, both as student and teacher. 

As a boy I spent six years at the Jesuit College, Clongowes Wood, 
in Ireland. Afterwards, during two years, I had some acquaintance 
with Jesuit University education in Dublin. While in the Order 
I had one year of Jesuit humanities; three years of Jesuit philos- 
ophy and four years of Jesuit theology. As a Jesuit I taught for 
three years at Clongowes; two years at Mungret College; one year 
at Galway college, and also for one year at Georgetown University. 
I have also visited and dwelt in a great number of other Jesuit 
Colleges, and innumerable times I have discussed every phase of 
Jesuit education with Jesuits. I feel, therefore, that I have had 
ample experience to form an opinion on the matter of Jesuit Educa- 

In the first place, as regards the "Ratio" itself, It should be more 
widely known that, afart from the courses of 'philosophy and the- 
ology , in the Order and for the Order, in English sneaking coun- 
tries, the "Ratio" is absolutely dead. It died long. since of neglect 
and old age. Of the twenty- four Jesuit masters under whom I 
studied at Clongowes, only one had any knowledge of the "Ratio"! 
And only in a few insignificant details did he try to conform to it. 
None of the rest were in the least concerned about it. As regards 
myself, although I acted, while a Jesuit, as Dean in one Jesuit col- 
lege for a while, and as Sub-dean in another, I had never read 
the "Ratio"! 

In the second place, it should be more widely known that the 
Jesuits have no official method of teaching to replace the "Ratio." 
They get no training in teaching, and everything is absolutely 
haphazard. How they manage to maintain the astounding pre- 
tence of having a Jesuit method passes my comprehension. Jesuit 
teachers for the most part not only have no training in how to teach, 
but they have no exact knowledge, certainly no expert knowledge, 
of the subjects they are supposed to teach. Usually they do not 
know what they shall be appointed to teach until a few days before 
the school term begins. 

In order to understand the inherent weakness of Jesuit education 
we must take into consideration the mind of the Society. The So- 
ciety insists on making every scholastic teach, whether he is fit for 

Jesuit Education 179 

the work or not, and whether he likes the work or not. It regards 
the College as a training ground for its young members. It does 
not consider it unfair to the boys in the college, or unjust to their 
parents who are paying high fees, to set its scholastics to experiment 
on the boys, to do their apprenticeship at the boys' expense. 

Caraffa, the Jesuit General, wrote, 12 in 1646, to the Bohemian 
Provincial, and his instruction is still obeyed in the Society. "Our 
Very Reverend Father bids and commands me, as our Society does 
not assign any definite period for instruction in the lower schools, 
to employ for this 'purpose all without distinction, and particularly 
those who detest this occupation" It is hard to conceive anything 
more unfair to the pupils than to put over them as teachers men 
who detest the work of teaching. It is, however a very common 
practice in the Order. I have known many Jesuits who implored 
their Superiors to release them from the work of teaching on the 
grounds that they had no natural aptitude for this work, and that 
they hated it. But such requests were always refused. It is very 
rare in the Order to come across a Jesuit who likes teaching and 
who has the "professional spirit." Most of them are counting the 
days till their teaching term is over, and they regard their, teaching 
period as damnatio ad bestias, being thrown to the beasts. 
Superiors, of course, consult the convenience of the Order, rather 
than the good of the boys in their colleges. The convenience of the 
Order makes them send all scholastics, no matter what their gifts 
or tastes, to supply empty places on the teaching staffs of their col- 
leges, and incidentally to complete their training. 

Fr. Cornova, the Jesuit educationalist, discusses this matter, very 
fairly. 18 "The rule that all Jesuits without exception must spend 
some time in the instruction of youth is incidentally open to objec- 
tion. Not every one is suited for the work of teaching. . . .Of 
course it was an advantage to the Order itself, for their work of 
teaching served as a school of morals for the young Jesuits, since 
men never exercise more control over themselves than when they 
are compelled to control others. Still, even the advantage accruing 
to the Order did not exempt it from the obligation incurred by 
taking over the public schools, to do the best in its 'power for the 

12 Through his Secretary. 

lz Die Jesuiten als Gymnasiallehern. Prague, 1804, p. 94. 

i8o The Jesuit Enigma 

young -people entrusted to Its care. In reality it should have been 
right to exempt from teaching all those who had no capacity for 
this occupation." 

I may remark incidentally that while I was at Clongowes the 
boys were constantly complaining of the wretchedness of their 
teachers. Those who by good fortune had even one good teacher 
were very proud of the fact, and used make a boast of it. Look- 
ing back over my personal experience of about forty Jesuit teach- 
ers that I have had, in lower and higher studies, Irish, English, 
Belgian, French, and of other nationalities, only about five per 
cent were really competent to teach. Most of them were ex- 
tremely bad teachers. 

There is an unpublished report of a certain Jesuit Father, Jacob 
Pontan (Spanmuller), one of the German Jesuit Commissioners, 
appointed to prepare the "Ratio," which is a very terrible indictment 
of Jesuit education. 1 * I shall quote from it a passage which was 
doubtless true of the Society in the days when he wrote it, and which 
is certainly true of it still, if what he says of Greek and Latin be 
understood of the subjects now taught in Jesuit schools. 

"The masters are frequently without ability; they waste time; 
they only study when and as much as they please; and they do not 
want to continue teaching any length of time. And even if any of 
them would like to progress and continue the work of teaching 
they are sent away, and new teachers are introduced every year. . . . 
Superiors have no great zeal for study. Nor is this surprising. 
They themselves have received the same instruction as our scholas- 
tics now receive. Their study of Greek is cursory. As for Latin 
their lips have scarce come near it. And yet it is they who have to 
decide on the subject and manner of teaching, and to judge of the 
teachers, their ability and progress. A great deal is left to the 
Prefects, who are themselves too uncultivated to preside over the 
schools or direct and improve the teachers. But as even the Supe- 
riors lack this knowledge, the Prefects of Study certainly cannot ex- 
cel, since they are scholastics who have been removed from their 
studies prematurely. . . . Since the teachers do not, as the Rule 
prescribes, stand a stage above their class . . . what prospect can 

14 Cf. Hoensbroech, Vol. I, pp. 190, 191. 

Jesuit Education 181 

there be of keeping pace with the schools outside the Order? . . . 
Inadequately instructed scholastics become incapable teachers. They 
produce unlearned Superiors, ignorant of all humanistic knowledge, 
not a few of whom cannot even write a grammatical letter; as well 
as unlearned Prefects of Study; and all in our Society who lack 
learning, and these are a countless number, owe their defect to these 
two causes. . . . The Rector and Prefect of Studies are not greatly 
concerned about the manner of teaching. They do not correct 
those who make mistakes, nor encourage any one to adopt the right 
methods. . . . And while we drift along carelessly and continue 
to have every year, fresh teachers and pupils, our schools are getting 
worse and worse. Before the masters have learned to teach they 
receive their orders to stop. What respect, and what experience can 
such teachers have? Why are we not ashamed of our folly? There 
is no city that changes its executioner or hangman once a year, and 
we believe that this constant fluctuation is good for study!" 

In 1770, Count Pergen wrote to Marie Therese, apropos of the 
state of Jesuit education in Austria. "Experience has shown that 
Jesuits were never willing to depart from antiquated methods only 
endurable at best at the time of their origin, nor from their old 
text-books and their narrow circle of instruction. Even if in recent 
times instructions from the Government that could not be evaded, 
or the greater enlightenment of the age, and the irresistible example 
of other countries, have impelled them against their will to this or 
that reform it was only an apparent and therefore incomplete im- 
provement, which bears only too evident testimony to the lack of 
understanding how to penetrate to the root of the evil, and the 
injury done to their system and Constitution by any such innova- 


It was not merely the spirit of reaction that was the cause of 
decay in Jesuit education, even in the great days of the Order, but 
it was the laziness and ignorance of the Jesuits themselves. We 
have countless testimonies to this depreciation of scholarship in the 
Order. Oliva, the Jesuit General, wrote, in 1680, to the Provin- 
cial of Bohemia: 

"Every effort must be made to raise the standard of humanistic 
studies (in the Order), for I know not how it has come about that 
those who can preserve and strengthen the reputation the Society 

1 82 The Jesuit Enigma 

once enjoyed in this respect are now so few among you." In 'a 
draft of the "Ratio" we find: "It is a matter of universal complaint 
that humanistic studies have for the most part fallen into decay 
among our members so that nothing is more difficult to find than a 
good grammarian, rhetorician or humanist. . . . The confessors, 
too, are in trouble and difficulty when they have to hear a confes- 
sion in Latin and they can scarcely understand the homilies of the 
fathers and the lessons of the breviary." 1B 

At the time no doubt the Jesuits were so preoccupied with con- 
templating the spectacle of their own greatness and achievements, 
that they had little time for study, or else considered study super- 
fluous. Fr. Streicher, S.J., in his Diary of an Indian Journey^ 
speaking of his Spanish brother Jesuits, says: "It seems very prob- 
able that many of them do not understand the mass, and certainly 
not the breviary." From my own experience, I can add, that al- 
though at present things in the Order are not quite so bad in this 
respect, there are still very many Jesuit fathers whose knowledge of 
Latin is exceedingly limited, and whose general culture is confined 
to knowledge of current events as described in newspapers. The 
Jesuits, as Fr. Tyrrell said, were never, in spite of their reputation, 
a learned Order. 

One of the many serious criticisms of Jesuit education has been 
their neglect of the vernacular. In the Provincial's Rules, 16 we find: 
"Even greater caution must be observed in regard to national writers 
where they have to be read in school. They must be very carefully 
selected, and no author should be read or praised whose works the 
pupils cannot admire without risk to their morals and faith." But 
even the Masters are restricted in their study of vernacular litera- 
ture. "The younger Masters should be on their guard against in- 
dulging too much in the reading of vernacular authors, especially 
the poets, to the loss of time and perhaps to the prejudice of vir- 
tue." 1T Very little time was allowed officially for the teaching of 
the vernacular, and we find as a result that of the seven or eight 
million lay students that have passed through the hands of the Jesuit 
educators, since the Order was founded, a very insignificant num- 

" Mon, German. Pad. 5, 144, 148. 

I 8 No. 34- 

17 Ed. of Ratio, 1832. 

Jesuit Education 183 

her have attained to celebrity as writers of modern literature, 
Those who have done so, Voltaire, James Joyce, and others, are 
men who for the most part owed their literary skill to personal 

While I was at Clongowes (1895 to 1901) there began a na- 
tional effort to revive the Gaelic language, and throughout the 
country patriotic schools were seconding the movement. The 
Order, of course, held back and discouraged the teaching of Irish. 
There were here and there high-minded Jesuits who tried to per- 
suade Superiors to adopt the national viewpoint, and to fall in line 
with the rest of the country. But their suggestions were turned 
down and they were penalised in many ways. The two Jesuits of 
my time in Clongowes, who were in league with the movement, 
Fr. P. Dinneen and Mr. T. O'Nolan, both of whom were fine Irish 
scholars, left the Society. Others subsequently had to follow their 
example. It was the old story of Jesuit reaction; Jesuit hostility to 
"new things"; Jesuit distrust and hatred of nationalism. Needless 
to say, at Jesuit headquarters at Rome, the Spanish General, sur- 
rounded by Italians, French, Poles, Germans, Portuguese, and 
Dutch reactionaries, felt but little favour for what was looked upon 
as Irish Carbonarism. Cosmopolitanism was ever the policy of the 
Order, in education, as in other matters. The Order cared little 
for the individual needs of special countries. As Fr. Patchtler, 
S.J., wrote: "An Order so centralised as the Society of Jesus which 
sends its professors from one country to another, wherever the need 
is greatest, is absolutely compelled to establish unity in its school 
system, methods of instruction, and scheme of studies." 

There are times in a country's history when a bold and lofty 
purpose inspires the people, and when the united energy of its citi- 
zens, old and young, is needed to. carry it through. When such a 
phenomenon occurs, if there be Jesuits in the country at the time, 
as there were in Ireland at the time of which I speak, they hold 
back and question the Catholicity of the national aim, finding fault 
with it, and damping the spirit of the people. They can never fall 
in enthusiastically with anything national or idealistic. As Count 
von Hoensbroech, angry over Jesuit contempt for German litera- 
ture, German national ideals and German educational progress, 
wrote : "The Order, with no comprehension of the progressive needs 

184 The Jesuit Enigma 

of the age, slavishly imitated the system of instruction prevalent 
in the schools at the time of its foundation in the sixteenth century; 
it remained in this antiquated and ossified condition for centuries; 
it subordinated and still subordinates the national development of 
the pupils committed to its care to its own international interests." 

Jesuits have often been accused of "touting" for vocations 
among the students in their colleges. Some Jesuits gain a great 
reputation in the Order for their power in "attracting" suitable boys 
to enter. And the Order is fully aware of the opportunity that 
colleges offer for the obtaining of recruits, and of the value of the 
work done by Jesuits who "land vocations." 

Methods of approach vary a great deal, but usually the first 
move is to take an interest in a "likely" boy. Soon he and the 
Jesuit become friends and there follow walks, and talks, and 
the lending of books, and enquiries about home, and possibly a 
visit to the boy's home during vacation. As the year wears on the 
question of "what are you going to do with yourself?" is raised 
by the Jesuit. No suggestion of entering religion is made, but 
difficulties are pointed out in regard to many of the boy's schemes. 
"After all, what is most important is that you should follow some 
line of work where you can do good! Yes, Tommy! You must 
always keep that in mind! Doing good! That is the only thing 
that is worth while in this life. Nothing else matters!" The 
boy is told "to pray hard" for light and guidance, and he is en- 
couraged to perform some special acts of piety; to dust an altar every 
day, or to take care of some pious association. 

The annual college retreat is given by a visiting Jesuit. His 
talks are calculated to make boys think of entering religion, but 
he carefully refrains from pointedly referring to the Society of 
Jesus, though he tells many attractive stories of Jesuit saints. 

"Landing a vocation" is, needless to say, a long, delicate and diffi- 
cult process; it is a work requiring more art than the landing of a 
six-pound trout. But it is an art that produces its results with the 
same certainty that obtains in fishing. Unquestionably Jesuits do 
fish among their college students for vocations; every year their 
expert fishers land a fish or two or mayhap more when the season is 

Prudence, of an extreme kind, so extreme indeed that it verged 

Jesuit Education 185 

into its opposite, characterised many Jesuit educational ordinances. 
As an example let us take that of General Acquaviva, concerning 
the teaching of advanced doctrines. "If opinions, no matter whose 
they may be, are found in a certain province or city to give offence 
to many Catholics, whether members of the Society or not; that is 
persons not unqualified to judge, let no one teach them or defend 
them there, albeit the same doctrines may be taught elsewhere with- 
out offence." 18 Fr. Hughes, S. J., commenting on this rule, which 
if put into practice universally would sound the death-knell of 
science, writes : 1B "The principle seems discreet. If a corporate 
body does not want to be compromised it is not for the individual 
to compromise it." The point, however, is that any corporate 
body which makes a rule of this kind, compromises itself hope- 
lessly in the eyes of all lovers of truth and science. The rule as 
it stands implies that doctrines, however true, may only be taught 
if they please local magnates, conspicuous for their piety and their 

Not .only, however, did the Society display excessive caution in 
the concealing of discovered truth, but it showed great indifference 
to the furtherance of Science. Professor Van Dyke, who, in writing 
his biography of Ignatius Loyola, had to read very extensively in 
Jesuit literature, states (p. 246) : "The writer is unable to recall 
in the letters and works of Ignatius or the reports of his conver- 
sations by his friends, a single phrase which suggests a hope that 
new truth was to be discovered." 

One finds in the educational work of the Jesuits, and in every 
page of the Ratio y certain fundamental characteristics of Jesuit 
undertakings; uniformity of method; conservatism; self-interest; 
a mixing of worldly wisdom and piety; snobbery and arrogance. 
Everywhere human nature is regarded as vitiated. Appeal is made 
to the practical rather than the ideal in man. There is a haunting 
fear arid suspicion of what is new, unusual, adventuresome, or at all 
progressive. The Order, absolutistic to the core, and utterly reac- 
tionary, is unable to adapt itself to the changing circumstances of 
life, or to give birth to original endeavours. 

18 Cf. Epist. of Acquaviva, supplementing the Ratio. 

19 Cf. op. cit., p. 149. 

1 86 The Jesuit Enigma 

The education given by the Jesuits is not vital or organic. In 
no true sense is it inspiring. It aims at safety and mediocrity, and 
is unsuited to produce pioneers of thought. No doubt a few 
Jesuits made important discoveries in physics and astronomy, but 
it was thanks to their own initiative. In general Jesuits have little 
faith in the vast potentialities of the human mind or in the possibility 
of great scientific achievements. 

The Jesuit psychologist scoffs at the theory that there are hidden 
powers in the unconscious mind, and treasures of gold to be drawn 
therefrom. As a scholastic he holds a dull prosaic view of the 
human soul, with its memory, imagination, intellect and will, 
functioning as a fourfold mechanism, playing forever at its well- 
ordered quadrille. Though he does not know it, the Jesuit is at 
heart a sceptic and an agnostic. He has no faith in the reality of 
the divine trinity of the mind, the good, the true and the beautiful. 
But in his pessimism he is obsessed with the thought that man tends 
naturally towards the evil, the false and the ugly. 

Given his spiritual "indifference," his conservatism and his sus- 
piciousness, the Jesuit should never have entered the arena of 
pedagogy. Inspiration, love of learning, f eat# of scientific daring, 
mad flights of poetic imagination, grandiose dreams of snatching 
her marvellous secrets from Nature; such things are not to be 
expected from repressed and awe-struck men, who tremble at the 
voice of every Superior, and whose fingers nervously clutch their 
Examen beads to mark another imperfection committed or another 
arrow shot at the devil. 



THE Jesuit has often been described in literature as a cunning 
fellow, an equivocator and a plotter by nature and training. Some 
writers clothe him with an outer garment of learning and dignity, 
while still insisting on making an arch-traitor of him, and an inde- 
fatigable agent of Rome. Friendly pens introduce the Jesuit as 
a man of strong will, unselfish, superhumanly wise, zealous and 
skilled in reading character. As .an offset to undiluted praise, 
there is perhaps added some humanising blemish such as addiction 
to snuff or absent-mindedness. 

The Jesuit of literature is however as fictional as "John Bull" 
or "Uncle Sam." He is neither so loyal nor so treacherous as he is 
said to be. Neither is he so interesting. The essential note of his 
character is neither strength of will, nor duplicity. It is repression ! 
The Jesuit is dehumanised by repression. The "innce te-tysum" 
("conquer thyself"), inculcated in his training, soon becomes a 
mechanism of his mind. Destructive processes that have been at 
work since his entrance into the Order produce marked effects. 
The childlike trustfulness, enthusiasm, affectionateness and simple 
piety that clothe the generous young postulant on entering are 
inevitably stripped away. In order to replace these qualities 
efforts are made to implant discretion, restraint, a supernatural 
outlook on all things and an unceasing vigilance over self. An 
artificial attitude towards God and man is set up, and there results 
a state of mental uncertainty and insincerity founded in repression. 

Before he entered, Tom Brown, knew that he loved his parents 
and that his love was lawful and good. And the idea of "edifying" 
his parents never entered his mind. But now as "Brother Tom," 
the Jesuit novice, he has learned that "care must be taken that 
each one rid himself of all carnal affection towards his relations, 

converting it into what is spiritual, and loving them solely with 


1 88 The Jesuit Enigma 

that kind of love which spiritually regulated (ordinata) charity 
demands." 1 

Br. Tom is in doubt as to whether or not he has taken sufficient 
care to "rid himself of all carnal affection" for his mother. He is 
not sure if the affection he feels for her is "spiritual affection" 
which he now believes is the right kind of affection to cherish. He 
prepares to edify his mother "in the Lord" by his modest and 
restrained demeanour when she comes to see him. When she does 
come, however, the sight of the dear, loved face sets all his spiritual 
ideas toppling down. Tears are in her eyes, of course, at the sight 
of Tom in his tattered black cassock. He starts to rush towards 
her to embrace her. Then the thought of his rule comes up and 
spoils all. He feels it is sinful for him to be happy with her. 
He tries to repress his emotion, recalling to mind what he was told 
the previous day, that "it is holy counsel that Ours should accustom 
themselves not to say that they have parents, or brothers, but that 
they had them, thus indicating that they no longer have that which 
they have forsaken, in order to put Christ on in place of everything. 
This should be particularly observed by those who seem more in 
danger of being troubled by some natural affection t which is more 
frequently the case with novices." 2 

Poor Mothers! How you suffer, when after months of weary 
waiting, you are allowed to visit your Jesuit sons, only to be met 
with tantalising coldness, and artificial attitudes of piety religious 
antics, that your Tom or your Jack is flaying by rote to edify you. 
He loves you, of course, as much as ever, but he is oppressed by 
the ridiculous idea that he oughtn't to. In truth, he is suffering 
as much as you, but he is being "perfected" by repression! 

"To go against self" is the watchword of the Jesuit rule of 
asceticism. "By so much as you go against yourself, by so much 
do you advance in perfection." It is indeed impossible to exaggerate 
the emphasis laid upon repression in the Jesuit Constitutions. The 
evil thing "nature" must be warred down and slaughtered; not 
merely that nature that is associated with the body and the flesh, 
but also that nature which is said to abide in the mind and will. 

"Much more strenuously is the crushing of the interior than of 
the body to be insisted upon; be ruthless in breaking the movements 
i Summ. Const. 8. 2 Decl. Exam. Gen. 

Repression and HLxplosions 189 

of your spirit." "The repression of the will is to be esteemed of 
higher value than the raising of the dead to life." 

The Jesuit must, according to rule, be crucified to the world; 
dead to self-love; indifferent to home and country; thinking and 
saying the same as other Jesuits; liking whatever he is told to do; 
hating whatever is forbidden; standing, as it were, with one foot 
in the air, ready to march away from his own likings and in the 
direction of what his Superior wishes. In his intellectual life he 
must hate novelties and embrace opinions that are "safer and more 
approved by authority." He must discountenance sincerely "danger- 
ous freedom of thought," and distrust his own judgment. In 
philosophy and theology he must think with the masters chosen for 
him. If light-hearted he must cultivate gravity; if confident he 
must screw himself into diffidence; if phlegmatic he must learn to 
hustle, and if a hustler he must go slow. "Contraries to con- 
traries," all the time and in every case, is the golden rule of Jesuit 

The Jesuit would like to talk. Let him observe silence. He 
would like to go out of doors. Let him stay at home. He delights 
in music. Musical instruments are not allowed. He is hungry. 
Let him wait till supper-time and then eat less than he needs. He 
loves mathematics. It will be better for his spiritual progress if he 
is put to teach classics. "In all things he must seek his own greater 
self-abnegation; in all things and continuously." He finds comfort 
in external works. The Industrie, as we have seen, shows how he 
must be "confined to barracks" whether he likes it or not. 

Friendship even is denied the Jesuit, for he is taught to repress 
all natural inclinations bordering on affection. And the govern- 
ment of the Order sets its face resolutely against intimacy between 

Friendship with those outside the Order, even with good priests, 
is still less palatable to the tastes of Superiors. "It must be con- 
fessed," wrote Polanco, 8 the official chronicler of the Order in 
the time of Ignatius, "experience teaches that a very close friendship 
with priests who are not of the Company, even though in other 
respects they are good and spiritual men and active in helping their 
neighbours, is not to be cultivated." 

Pol. IV. us. 

190 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

There is, I think, no need to illustrate any further the re- 
pression that exists in the Society of Jesus, as elsewhere and often 
it is alluded to. It goes on all through the life of the Jesuit, and 
even when he dies, his poor body, worn out by his life of fretful, 
grinding irritation, is clothed in the Jesuit habit, to remind his 
spirit, as it were, to continue to keep the Holy Rule on its way to 
the next world. 

In the chapter on "Mind-healing," I have described the results 
of Jesuit repression, in terms of neuroses and pathological symptoms. 
In this chapter I propose to describe, what I may call, the "social 
results" of repression, that is, the behaviour reactions that follow in 
its trail. 

Few Jesuits, very few, can live up to the severity of the rule, 
but all, who want to live at peace with Superiors, must pretend to 
do so. Hence the cardinal vice of the Jesuit is pretence and 'make- 
believe. To allow oneself the necessary outlets for pent-up feel- 
ings, to indulge the necessary reaction to repression without "being 
caught," is the practical problem of the average Jesuit's life. 
Human nature asserts itself in the end, and holidays are given to 
the processes of repression. The wise and prudent Jesuit lets go of 
repression gradually. The imprudent one throws it suddenly and 
completely to the winds, and reacts in a fury of disgust* But of 
course he gets into trouble before long, and penalties and repri- 
mands are showered upon him. 

The days in which a Jesuit co-operates with his rule in practising 
self -repression are the days of "first fervour." Every Jesuit has 
to "look back" to those days, and if he is still pious he sighs over 
his lack of progress, and promises himself to make amends. He 
feels compunction because he has allowed himself to drop those 
holy exercises of mortification and humility, that went hand in 
hand with fervour and repression. He reminds himself of the wise 
aphorisms of holy religious who taught that progress in virtue is 
not to be measured by years spent within the monastery but by 
victories over self. And he beats his breast as he ponders over 
the undeniable maxim that "the habit does not make the monk" 

I remember as a Jesuit novice being struck by the violence of 
the explosion that occurred, the moment the novices were released . 
from repression. At the instant that the warning bell announced 

Repression and Explosions 191 

the beginning of recreation, and permission to talk, there was a veri- 
table outburst of cries and shouts. Noisy confusion sprang after 
the heels of holy silence, and delirious uproar banged the door 
on demure gravity. As often as permission was given for games, 
and novices played hockey, roughness and brutality was the spirit 
of the game. Cuts, blows and bruises were distributed with the 
utmost liberality and the angelic faces of the novices were not 
unfrequently distorted with immoderate emotions. When, how- 
ever, the game was over, and the novices covered with mud and 
bathed in perspiration, bleeding, too, perhaps and limping, thronged 
directly to the chapel (no time was allowed for change of clothes), 
peace and prayerfulness reappeared on their countenances, as if by 
magic. Repression was in the ascendancy once more. 

A Noviceship dormitory at night is often as noisy as a mad- 
house. The "censor" has insufficient' power to control the thoughts 
repressed during the day, and so the real thoughts, the sincere 
things, the things that novices do not allow their conscious minds to 
dwell upon, are uttered during sleep. 

One night I lay awake. I made pious efforts not to hear what 
was being said, but I could not help hearing a voice that talked 
close beside me. It was that of a novice who had entered the 
same day as I had. He had left a happy home, and considerable 
wealth. He was a model novice, "very happy in his vocation," 
and always proclaiming his delight at having escaped from the 
wicked world. In his sleep, however, his tongue was unrestrained, 
and I was surprised at the tone of his voice. Some sub-conscious 
thought was struggling to find expression. Then suddenly he 
raised his voice and these words, laden with deep import, were 
carried up and down the dormitory, but probably no one save 
myself was awake to hear them: "Oh!" he cried, "Oh, If I only 
knew before I came." 

Everything in the Noviceship is done under strain and in an 
unnatural way. At meals the most ordinary little courtesies become 
for this reason a veritable torture. One of the rules prescribes 
attention to the needs of one's neighbour; passing bread, salt and 
so forth, without waiting to be asked. The novice is supposed to 
watch carefully so as to anticipate the requirements of those beside 
him. Now if one considers the mental state of the novice, how he 

1 92 The Jesuit Enigma 

is strung up to a high pitch of excitement about doing everything 
perfectly, for the "Greater Honour and Glory of God," one will 
understand what a strain even such a commonplace rule as this 
entails. All the while during meals the novice is watching and 
calculating the exact moment at which to pass to his neighbour 
this, that or the other thing. Meanwhile he, though perhaps raven- 
ously hungry, has to eat with the utmost modesty, as though in 
the presence of Christ, slowly, quietly and with due circumspection. 
He may only put small morsels into his mouth at a time, even 
though eating "against time," and he has to take care to mortify 
himself, by denying himself the nicest parts of what he gets to eat. 
He has also to attend to the spiritual reading that is going on, and 
to derive fruit therefrom. What a torture meals were in the 
Noviceship ! 

And now, if I can, I will explain a peculiar reaction to this 
table repression. I have already referred to various forms of public 
penance. One of these penances is to "dine on one's knees," which 
means when grace is said, one kneels at a centre table on a low 
stool and eats one's dinner thus alone in the presence of the Com- 
munity. Such a penance may seem severe to those who do not 
appreciate the spirit and circumstances of religious life, but as a 
matter of fact there is nothing hard in it. No one pays any 
attention to the person doing this penance, save the servers, who 
are always particularly attentive to kneelers. It has, moreover, one 
attraction for novices, namely that they are spared the torture 
of watching their neighbours' plates. The result is that it is a 
popular form of penance, and more than one novice confessed to 
me that he liked "taking dinner on his knees" as it was the only 
way he could get a meal in peace! 

One of the few well-executed general "explosions" that I had 
part in, while a Jesuit, took place at Clongowes College during 
my period there as a Jesuit teacher. It is customary in Jesuit 
Houses to have, from time to time, what are called "wine- 
evenings." These "wine-evenings" are an agreeable institution in 
the Society. They are usually held after dinner, in the Recreation 
Room, where all save lay-brothers assemble. The Recreation Room 
table is covered with light refections, and decanters of claret, 
port and whiskey are placed at each end of the table. Regulations 

Repression and Explosions 193 

govern- the quantity of wine that may be taken; whiskey is allowed 
in lesser quantity than the other kinds of wine. Usually the 
Fathers take whiskey and the Scholastics claret or port, but the 
latter have also the right to take whiskey if they wish, but they 
are not well thought of if they do so. 

The granting of "wine-evenings" depends on the humour of 
the Superior. He grants or refuses them as he thinks fit, but 
naturally the community take it very ill if they are refused too 
often, and a good deal of grumbling and discontent ensues. Some 
of the older Fathers in particular are very furious if a "wine- 
evening" on which they count is not granted. 

At the time of which I write the Rector of Clongowes, a very 
autocratic individual, was in chronic ill-humour, and to the annoy- 
ance and dismay of the community, he began to cut down the 
number of "wine-evenings." Again and again they were refused^ 
and finally a few weeks elapsed without one being granted. When 
at long last a "wine-evening" was announced, a mood bordering 
on rebellion had taken possession of the Scholastics. They came 
to the Recreation Room as usual, but not in the usual spirit. Then, 
as if by inspiration, an idea came to them. They would all take 

The decanter in due time was passed round the table and one 
after another, all the Scholastics filled their glasses with 
whiskey. This unaccustomed demand necessitated the sending for 
a further supply. 

Later on still another supply was required. The face of the 
Rector meanwhile was a study. He grew purple with indignation, 
but he could say nothing, as rule and custom were against him. 
Presently a look akin to terror swept over his face. Was this 
rebellion? What did it mean? Was not his authority being 
flouted? But the Scholastics, joyous under the effects of the un- 
accustomed stimulant, laughed and joked uproariously, little caring 
by this time what their good Rector felt or thought. Pent-up 
feelings had found an appropriate outlet, reaction had followed 
repression, "there was joy in heaven," and the Rector was given 
a salutary lesson which had its good effect. 

This "reaction," simple and trivial though it be, may help to 
give an insight into things that loom large in a Jesuit's life. It is 

194 The Jesuit Enigma 

due to the pitiable mistrust that Jesuits feel in each other that 
concerted "protest-reactions" are rare. Jesuits grumble and com- 
plain behind Superiors 1 backs, but they hardly ever find courage to 
unite in a perfectly justifiable demonstration of the kind described. 

Turning now to reactions engendered by meticulous and repres- 
sive rules of poverty, we find Jesuits, almost all Jesuits, employing 
subterraneous methods for securing pocket-money, although they 
are forbidden "to have money in their own or in another's keeping." 
The average Jesuit finds it quite impossible to get along without 
some money, and he feels it still more impossible to beg his Superior 
for money for every trifling expenditure that he has to make. 
Strictly, he should go to his Superior to ask money even for the 
purchase of a newspaper or the payment of a street-car fare. 

Jesuits do not accumulate big sums of money for personal 
expenses. Usually they have very modest views of what capital 
is desirable for them to have. This capital is generally within 
the limits of what is regarded as a grave violation of their vows. 
But, on the other hand, it is rare to find a Jesuit who is wholly 
without a private purse. Friends and relatives generally keep his 
purse replenished. Often, too, he places "fat stipends" to his 
personal account instead of handing them over to his Superior. 

Reaction to the repressive rules of holy poverty shows itself in 
Jesuit wastefulness. Jesuits are exceedingly wasteful as regards 
food, clothes, books and community property. They break things, 
throw them around, misuse them with the utmost indifference. 
And when they receive permission to buy clothes or other articles 
they, as often as not, buy the most expensive things they can find. 
They are all the more provoked to do so if they are living under 
parsimonious Superiors. 

A rather amusing incident occurred, in this connection, in a 
Jesuit college where I was studying. The Superior was notably 
stingy. Furthermore, he was a man who was accustomed to play 
tricks, mean tricks, on the community, and to go to the greatest 
lengths to save money. He knew quite well what the community 
thought of him and as far as he could he protected himself against 

The community was very large and there were fixed days 
arranged each year for the supplying of clothes, shoes, and so forth. 

Repression and Explosions 195 

When the "shoe-day" came a large stock was sent from a ware- 
house under the charge of a young man. Generally the shoes 
were of two prices, a dearer and a cheaper shoe. The prices were 
of course marked on the shoes. Now the Superior knew that as a 
reprisal for his meanness the community would buy, on this occa- 
sion, the dearer shoes. So he took measures to protect himself. 
Before the announcement was made that the shoes were ready 
for selection he went to the room where they were, and with the 
assistance of the warehouse clerk, he changed all the prices, putting 
the higher prices on the cheaper shoes. His strategy of course 
succeeded. As he anticipated, the community chose the apparently 
expensive shoes, and he was saved a great deal of money. 

One of the most irksome of repressive measures in the Order 
is that already alluded to in the chapter on espionage, the visiting of 
Jesuits at prayer times, to see if they are at prayer in their rooms. 
The "visitor" approaches the room quietly, opens the door without 
knocking and looks in. Usually he is content to glance at the 
prle-dieu to see if the occupant of the room is there, kneeling or 
standing. Then he goes on to the next room. As may be guessed, 
"visiting" at prayer time provokes various types of reaction. The 
efforts of Superiors to "catch" subjects awakens in them contrary 
efforts not to be "caught." Hence many a Jesuit lies in bed in the 
morning until the time for visiting arrives. Then he listens 
intently and allows himself, when he hears the "visitor" approach- 
ing, just sufficient time to jump out of bed, throw on a coat, and 
kneel for a moment at his 'prie-dieu while the "visitor" glances in; 
then back to bed again with an easy conscience. Some Jesuits have 
been known to dress up a dummy figure and place it at their prlg- 
dieuy so that the "visitor" may think that all is well, and that the 
holy father, in reality in bed, is at his prayers. Such childish 
subterfuges are the inevitable reactions to absolutism pushed to 

The excessive external decorum imposed by the "Rules of 
Modesty" likewise results in many strange reactions. To some of 
these reference has already been made. When a few Jesuit friends 
who can trust one another get together, the "Rules of Modesty" 
prescribing strict decorum are completely forgotten, and if they 
meet in a room, it is usual for one to stretch himself on the bed; 

196 The Jesuit Enigma 

another places his feet on the mantelpiece; another sits on a heap 
of papers on the floor; and perhaps another extemporises an arm- 
chair out of the $rie-dieu and a pile of books of philosophy and 
theology. Sometimes concerts or entertainments are improvised, 
and not a little ragging and "horse play" goes on. For, safe from 
the eye and ear of the Superior, the average Jesuit pays little regard 
to holy modesty, and rightly feels the lawfulness of moderate 
dissipation. "Dulce est dissipere in loco." 

As physical safety-valves great numbers of Jesuits cultivate 
hobbies, little in keeping with the tenor of the Constitutions. 
Those who have read Van Dyke's interesting chapter on the 
character of Ignatius Loyola will remember how sternly Ignatius 
discountenanced games, except "lusus trudlculorum" a kind of 
croquet, and "fiastrelle" a game played by driving round, flat 
pieces of wood on tables. "Not long before his death," writes 
Van Dyke, 4 "he sent word to a college where they were playing at 
ball and at marbles, that he preferred to have nothing played at any 
college except 'piastrelle' in the open air, 'which gave exercise to 
the arms and to almost the whole body.' Voluntary or impromptu 
sports were not welcomed; for Ignatius had no confidence in any 
life for the Company which did not go by rule. Once young 
Ribadeneira, Father Olave and others got to throwing around an 
orange, and the man who muffed it must recite the Angelic 
Salutation. Ignatius heard of it and gave them a penance that 
others should not follow their example and bring in some new 

In spite,, however, of this Jesuit tradition, and of stern rules 
against worldly sports, the average Jesuit has his particular hobby. 
Some join Golf Clubs; some Boating Clubs; others Tennis Clubs. 
Many have cars, while others, especially in England and Ireland, 
ride bicycles. Fishing, shooting and riding are likewise indulged 
in according as opportunity offers. Many have cameras, phono- 
graphs, radios, while others frequent operas and movie shows. 
Not a few go to the theatre when they can do so with safety, and 
in general it would be hard to discover any kind of sport or 
amusement that Jesuits do not find an opportunity to enjoy at 
some time or other, in spite of the Puritanical tenor of the Rule. 

* Op. tit., p. 339- 

Repression and Explosions 197 

I heard of Jesuits who on their way to their Mission dressed 
up as young ladies and spent the afternoon so attired, to the amuse- 
ment of all aboard. One of them was a young man particularly 
conspicuous in my Noviceship for his piety and decorum. 

A good deal of insight is afforded into the psychology of the 
Jesuit Superior and the Jesuit Subject alike, and into the folly 
of excessive repression by a study of the Order's attitude as regards 
the rule of speaking Latin. This rule in general imposes on 
Scholastics the talking of Latin at all times outside recreation 
time. And among Scholastics are included priests during the year 
following their ordination. 

The rule is fairly well observed during the Noviceship and 
the two years following the Noviceship, while classical studies 
are being pursued. But after that even the most edifying young 
Jesuits ignore it. Superiors, nevertheless, continue to keep up 
the pretence of enforcing it. The Society is incapable of admitting 
the necessity of change or reform; and woodenness of attitude is 
the result. Again and again I have seen Superiors, in addressing 
Scholastics, work themselves into a frenzy over the non-observance 
of this impossible "Latin rule." They threatened severe penalties 
for breaches of observance and interpreted the general disobedience 
to the rule as a sign of laxity. Of course they never made any 
admission as to the lack of common-sense and understanding in the 
Order in enacting such a rule. I do not of course wish to affirm 
that it is impossible to carry on conversation in Latin. Most 
Jesuits seem to know sufficient Latin to express themselves intelli- 
gibly in that language. But what is impossible is the continuous 
repression involved in using such an awkward vehicle of communi- 
cation. Religious life has a sufficiency of painful repressions with- 
out such a stupid one added on. 

In the lives of Jesuit Saints one finds great emphasis laid on 
the "vlnce te-ipum" maxim, and on the manner in which they 
observed repressive rules. The Order boasts that in the canonisa- 
tion of John Berchmans the rules were in a sense "canonised," 
because the one remarkable spiritual feature of this young Fleming 
was the assiduous devotion he showed to the "Holy Rule." During 
his short life in the Order he never deliberately broke a rule. He 
was the exemplar of repression. Aloysius Gonzaga was another 

198 The Jesuit Enigma 

Jesuit Saint of the same type. The expansiveness of Anthony of 
Padua or Francis of Assisi was wholly absent from them. The 
lives of the former were as uninteresting as could well be imagined. 
They were prim, cold, precise, matter of fact, unlovable. There 
was nothing generous or inspiring about them. Aloysius was 
apparently obsessed with the idea of transmuting his flesh, by 
prayer and penance, into angelic substance. Berchmans was 
obsessed with a spiritual "miscophobia" (a horror of imperfection), 
which he applied to any blot on his rule keeping. He "attached 
the utmost importance to trifles" (maximi minima fecit), and 
never, of course, questioned the divinity of the inspiration which 
he found in his rule. Like Aloysius, he passed his days, note-book 
in hand, marking down tiny imperfections that were to be corrected, 
minute indications of progress for which to render thanks to God, 
and admirable traits of virtue that he discovered in others and that 
he proposed to plagiarise. Virtue for them was a thing to be 
increased and cultivated by careful bookkeeping, and profit and 
loss accounts. Neither, apparently, ever allowed himself to eat "a 
square meal"; to shout or laugh with joyous abandonment; or to 
sleep till full sunlight banished drowsiness from his eyes. Neither, 
at death, could have given any description of life in this world, 
which would not have been a complete travesty. Good for them 
was constraint within the narrow predetermined path, marked out 
by the pioneers of religious life. They felt no obligation to think 
for themselves or to develop whatever fine natural gifts they might 
discover within themselves. They had not even the strange joys of 
the mystical life, nor the thrilling adventure of a missioner's death 
for the faith. "CabinM, cribb'd, confm'd" they lived to exemplify 
complete and perfect repression, but their memories are cherished 
in the Order, and their lives put forward as models for all. 

A recent Jesuit "saint," not however yet canonised, was Fr. 
William Doyle, whose "life," written by Professor Alfred Rahilly, 
caused quite a stir among Anglicans as well as Catholics. He 
died very bravely as a Chaplain to the Forces in France. 

Fr. Doyle, whom I knew personally, was bright and full of 
humour; energetic; winning in manner; and, when not facetious, 
kind-hearted. He was, however, quite obviously excitable and 
neurotic. After his death his notes, marked "to be burned, un- 

Repression and Explosions 199 

opened," were examined by his brother, a Jesuit. They contained 
such a wonderful story of spiritual life that they were handed to 
Professor Rahilly for publication. In these notes Fr. Doyle tells 
of his repressions and reactions, which were remarkably intense. 
At times he used to disrobe in the fields and roll about naked 
among the nettles; at times he would lie naked in cold water 
on winter nights; he practised many forms of cruel bodily chastise- 
ment. He was, however, an "arithmomaniac" of an unheard-of 
kind. According to his notes he used pray a few hundred thousand 
times a day, and he used instruct his pious clientele to pray 
at least fifty thousand times a day. How he could achieve this 
marvellous task no one seems to know, but none the less it is 
reverently believed that he did so. 

He carried on an enormous correspondence with pious women, 
mostly nuns, which no doubt was -a form of reaction to his re- 
pressions, and he was something of a spiritual hobo travelling the 
country; giving edifying entertainments with lantern slides. He 
had what other less fortunate and less pious Jesuits of the Irish 
Province called a very "good time." And for such, Fr. Doyle 
was an outstanding exemplar of the cynical maxim, "piety pays." 

Fr. Doyle was far from being a learned or scholarly man, but 
he published a little book on Vocations, wherewith he induced a 
great number of devout and admiring females to enter convents. 
Some of these I have reason to know entered, not because the life 
really suited them, temperamentally or spiritually, but because 
"Dear Fr. Doyle" had advised them to do so. 

The Jesuit Order, no doubt for propaganda purposes, authorised 
the publication of Fr. Doyle's life. As I have said, I knew Fr. 
Doyle and I admit that he was an interesting and even lovable 
character, far more lovable than many of the canonised Jesuit 
Saints. But, in all honesty, I believe that it is unfair to the public 
to encourage the belief that this excitable, often angry and violent, 
neurotic whose spiritual reactions were so largely temperamental, 
was a Saint, in the accepted meaning of the word. His life re- 
flected little more than the inevitable explosiveness consequent 
upon the grinding repressions of the Jesuit Rule. 

It may not be out of place here to describe a very common type 
of Jesuit, a type which, while much less interesting than Fr. Doyle, 

2OO The Jesuit Enigma 

is even more peculiarly the product of Jesuit repression. If I could 
relate in detail the life of a Jesuit belonging to this class, it would 
prove perhaps the most formidable indictment of the Order that 
could possibly be put together. It would show how the life of 
the Order gradually demoralises men, naturally of fine and 
generous tendencies, and turns them into weak, cowardly, insincere 
wrecks of manhood, with slave minds and ruined nerves. I take, 
as an example (will he recognise his own picture if he ever reads 
this book?), a man who about thirty-five or forty years ago entered 
the Society as a tall, athletic, clever young man full of energy and 
full of Irish fun and humour. He was a good classical scholar; 
particularly accurate and exact in his scholarship; and gifted with 
a nice sense of literary style. He had, I think, the making of 
an exceptionally good critic, or writer of pungent and thoughtful 
essays. He might indeed have edited a paper with distinction, or 
have developed into a distinguished preacher or lecturer. He had 
great fluency, good judgment in the choice of words, and was 
possessed of a rich and sweet voice. He was endowed with all the 
qualities that one considers desirable in a teacher, and had it not 
been for the mental and moral blight that life in the Society meant 
for him, he might have become a brilliant Head-Master. 

Given such fine material, the Society had an excellent opportunity 
of producing a leader of thought, a great inspirer of culture, a propa- 
gandist of good taste, and noble ideals. And that all the more, if this 
gifted young Irishman should show himself ready and willing to co- 
operate in the training to be given him and should inspire the 
confidence of his Superiors. 

Now I want in particular to emphasise the fact that "Fr. X.," 
for so I shall call him, co-operated in every way with the Society's 
training and inspired confidence to an unusual extent. He has all 
through his career stood well with Superiors. He has always been 
regarded as a trust-worthy and "prudent" man. He never got 
into any scrapes; never once in all his career was he "caught." 
He passed all his Society "tests" brilliantly. He was conspicuous 
for his knowledge of the Constitutions. He was, of course, "pro- 
fessed," and, an exceptional mark of honour, was put in charge 
of Jesuit Juniors for many years. He has officiated as Vice- 
Provincial^ and has been raised to the government of various 

Repression and Explosions 20 1 

houses. He has been "consulter" many times. His views of what 
becomes and what does not become "Ours" is taken as final. He is 
in fact decorated with every mark of love, affection and trust with 
which the Society decorates its most cherished members. He has 
therefore co-operated very fully with the requirements of the Order, 
but what has been the result? What has become of the generous, 
clever, high-minded young Irishman of thirty-five years ago? 
What has the Jesuit Order made of this fine material that has been 
so docile and pliable in its hands? What stamp of perfection has 
the Holy Rule of the Order left upon him? 

To-day Fr. X. is, to my mind, one of the most despicable char- 
acters in existence. He is such a craven coward that he almost 
fears to cough, lest his coughing should be interpreted as a disre- 
gard of Holy Rule. He has no friend whose secrets he is not 
on the alert to find out in order to. betray them at once to his 
Superior. There is no form of pretence, hypocrisy, equivocation 
that he is not versed in. There is no form of flattery in which 
he is not ready to indulge in order to please a Superior. There is 
no act of folly or imprudence of any member of his Province that 
he has not made himself thoroughly acquainted with, in order to 
have tales to tell to Superiors when names crop up at Consultations. 
His fears and uncertainties have now become an obsession for him 
and he is tortured by "folie de doute." To take decided action 
on any question is a torture for him. 

During all his years in the Order he has not preached one notable 
sermon; given one public lecture; or written as much as one 
important review. All his literary gifts have gone utterly to waste. 
His teaching, whatever the cause, turned out to be deplorably bad 
and inefficient. While a Junior, I had him as my classical and 
English master, and never once during the whole year did he 
correct a Latin or Greek exercise. As Superior he was the cruellest 
and most inconsiderate man I ever met. Many of his Province 
lay to his charge the sad deaths of two young Scholastics who, 
although advanced tubercular cases, were driven to breaking-point 
by work which he imposed on them. One of these tubercular 
Scholastics, whom I knew very well, was sent back by Fr. X. to 
wade about in a half-frozen pond until he should find a skate 
that he had lost. When the time of the Public Examinations 

2O2 The Jesuit "Enigma 

arrived, Fr. X., who had kept this poor dying boy working at 
classics till n P.M. every night, allowed him to enter for the 
exams., although the doctor who had seen him the same day 
said that there was no longer any hope of hiVrecovery and that 
at most he could last a few months. But Fr. X. wanted the 
credit of the brilliant examination results that were expected of 
him. The results were forthcoming, but also the boy's death a few 
months later. 

The Jesuit system of espionage, described elsewhere, is perfectly 
incarnated in this unhappy man. To gather information for 
reports to Rome is the chief preoccupation of his life. With no 
little cleverness he draws young men into making confidences, 
which he straightway reports to higher Superiors. During the 
time of the Revolution in Ireland he cleverly pretended to be 
privately in sympathy with the "extremists," in order that he might 
find out what the Jesuits who held such views were doing and 
saying. The informations which he thus acquired by despicable 
deception he handed on forthwith to his Superiors, and many a 
Sinn Fein Jesuit was taken aback at the knowledge that Superiors 
possessed about his views and conversation. 

Such in brief is the story of how the Society turns to its own 
selfish uses material which under other circumstances would have 
proved so serviceable to mankind. Fr. X., of course, is not known 
outside the Order. For the world-at-large he is non-existent, save 
in so far as by his grim reactionary influence he prevents people 
outside from having the benefit of the teachings of Jesuits who 
have leanings towards enlightenment and progress. 

Jesuits often say, and I think truly, that it is the more or less 
disedifying little things in the lives of Saints that are most useful 
in affording an understanding of them. The "firing of the gun" 
in the life of Aloysius, and the contemplated head-breaking of 
the irreverent Moslem by Ignatius, are examples of such minor 
incidents that help to the comprehension of these Saints. What is 
true of individuals is also, probably, true of groups. And I feel 
that what is most valuable in this book as aiding towards an under-, 
standing of the Jesuit Order is precisely the relating of little inci- 
dents, which to some, perhaps, may seem disedifying. 

Now it will help much towards an understanding of the spirit 

Repression and Explosions 203 

of repression engendered by an autocratic Superior if I be allowed 
to relate a somewhat bizarre explosion that such a Superior once 
evoked. And as the incident occurred in my presence I have no 
uncertainty as to its veracity. 

At the time I was teaching in a big Jesuit college, the Rector 
of which, though unable to boast of noble blood, assumed very 
grand airs and lived up in every respect to the absolutist attitude 
laid down in the Constitutions. He was a big man, but he carried 
his dignity very awkwardly and was very much on the nerves of 
the community. In his presence, as is usual among Jesuits, no 
sign of disrespect was shown. But in his absence there was much 
merriment at the expense of Fr. Rector's dignity j this merriment, 
not unmingled with annoyance and contempt, was particularly 
manifested by a highly strung, clever young Scholastic whom I 
shall call Mr. F. ! 

The Rector was not particularly punctual at meal-times. Fre- 
quently he arrived late, and when he did so he walked in the 
stateliest manner imaginable to the head of the table, tramping 
rather heavily on the floor, which was perhaps symptomatic of his 
lordly mentality. There was, however, one unfortunate mannerism 
which belonged to him and which greatly detracted from his dignity. 
Instead of "keeping his hands decently quiet" when walking (as 
the "Rules of Modesty" imposed), his right hand was customarily 
very indecently occupied, as he walked, in a region where Americans 
carry flasks. When he reached his place at the head of the table 
he used sit down and glare around to assert as some of us thought 
his divine authority. 

All in the community were of course aware of Fr. Rector's 
mannerism, but only veiled allusions to what was called "the royal 
salute" were ever made. One morning, however, Mr. F. took it 
upon himself to stage a one-act scene which it is impossible to 

The community were seated at breakfast, all save Mr. F. and 
the Rector, who was, as usual, late. Suddenly the door opened 
and a heavy tread was heard going up the refectory. We glanced 
up expecting to see the Rector. It was not the Rector, but Mr. F. 
Up the refectory walked Mr. F., his head poised with indescribable 
dignity, his feet pounding the floor and, to our amusement, his 

204 The Jesmt ILnigma 

right hand occupied as that of the Rector was wont to be. Arriving 
at the Rector's place, Mr. F. solemnly genuflected, raised to his 
lips the Rector's serviette, genuflected again, and so on in 
regard to the Rector's knife, fork and spoon. After a final solemn 
genuflection he returned to his place amid roars of laughter. 
Shortly afterwards the veritable Superior arrived, but save for a 
silence more subdued than usual there was nothing for him to 

One cannot of course conceive of any such reactions to repression 
as I have been describing, occurring in the entourage of Jesus of 
Nazareth. The petty rules designed to thwart and crush human 
impulses that abound in the Jesuit rule find no authorisation in the 
teachings of Christ. He had friends; "a beloved disciple," as well 
as Martha and Mary. He loved his City Jerusalem and wept when 
he thought of its sorrows. No <f ne tangas" (do not touch), rule 
prevented him from taking children into his arms. No regulations 
limiting his visits to women of noble birth kept him from visiting 
Peter's mother-in-law. When he wanted to talk to the Samaritan 
woman he chose ari hour when there would be none to overhear 
what he said. He was not preoccupied eternally with the reputation 
and good name of his company. 

There was no prudery about his manner of multiplying the wine 
at Cana's festive board, nor did he shirk hitting hard and angrily 
when the traders desecrated the Temple with trafficking. When 
lonely he called his friends to keep him company. He made what 
provision he could for his Mother when he was dying, and he did 
not fear to look lovingly on her dear face as did his "imitator" 
Aloysius. He was essentially human, and the self-denial that he 
taught was not the constant goading to desperation of human 
feelings and emotions, but the stamping out of that narrow, 
egotistical selfishness which stands in the way of loving one's 
neighbour. There is, indeed, little in common between the re- 
pression that Jesus taught and practised and the repression that is 
imposed by the Jesuit Rules and Constitutions. Jesus may have 
been called the "Pale Nazarene" by those who hated him or 
misunderstood him, but no enemy of his has pretended that he 
resembled in the remotest way such a Jesuit product as Fr. X., 
whom I have described above. 

Repression and Explosions 205 

One of the most degrading results of Jesuit repression is the 
fear attitude it engenders towards Superiors. Fr. X., to return 
to him for a moment, had the reputation of being a very virtuous 
man, and yet his fears used to play havoc even with his most 
sacred duties. For a priest, the offering of Mass, reverently and 
devoutly, is the most sacred duty of the day. And it is laid 
down in the Jesuit Constitutions that at least half an hour is 
required to perform this office in a becoming way. Yet, I have 
often seen Fr. X., when delayed for some reason in beginning his 
Mass, rush through the sacred prayers and ceremonies at break- 
neck speed, finishing all in fourteen or fifteen minutes, lest he 
should be reported to Superiors for keeping the -priest who was to 
follow him at the same altar waiting a few minutes. The same 
kind of fear of being considered self-indulgent by asking the 
Superior for a glass of wine if they (require it drives, as I have seen, 
grave professed Fathers to sneak into a sacristy when no one is 
looking and help themselves to altar wine. These petty and de- 
grading weaknesses are inevitable, as long as Jesuit subjects are 
crushed and cowed in spirit by galling repression. 

One Jesuit General, in a letter written on the subject of the 
manner of renovating vows, contemptuously warns the Jesuits who 
have duly prepared for the renovation, not to relapse when the pious 
days are over, and to conduct themselves "like dogs let loose from 
their chains" But the reaction of dogs is not due to any inherent 
naughtiness on their part, but to the inevitable resilience of their na- 
ture. The tighter you tie up dogs or humans the more violent will 
be the subsequent explosions, unless indeed you tie them so tight, and 
imprison them so long, that they can no longer use their limbs and 
faculties. And I am prepared to admit that the Order succeeds in 
holding many of its subjects so long and so sternly in bondage that 
they lose the power and indeed the will to react. But in such 
cases you have examples of the supreme human tragedy, men alive 
indeed, but no longer human, beings without personality, without 
individuality, and without honour. You have a characteristic 
Jesuit type. You have Fr. X. 



THE foundation of the Jesuit Order in 1540 holds in the history 
of the Catholic Church the important position of the Battle of Tren- 
ton in American history. The Church was at the time losing ground 
before the rapid spread of the Reformation, and there was dismay 
and despair in the hearts of thoughtful Catholics. Ignatius, how- 
ever, employed the strategy that Washington was to follow a few 
centuries later. He gathered together an army, inspired them with 
confidence in victory, and realising that it was beyond his power 
to defend, he initiated an offensive. He captured outposts of the 
enemy, pretended that his successful skirmishings were decisive 
victories, awakened new hope in the Church, and turned the tide 
of defeat. Ignatius proved to be the Washington of the Catholic 
Church. The foundation of the Jesuit Order was the Church's 

The Ignatian movement appealed to the Catholic imagination 
and stirred it profoundly. Nothing was more calculated to evoke 
enthusiastic support from the Catholic world of the early sixteenth 
century than this daring adventure of scholarly, high-born soldier- 
priests, vowed to fight for the Church to the death; who unsheathed 
sharp swords against the heretics of the West and the infidels of 
the East. There was something of chivalry and romance in it; 
something that rekindled the waning knightly spirit of the age and 
set pious hearts aglow. Ignatius was another St. George, mounted 
and clad in armour, setting forth with his glittering lance to pierce 
the foul gorge of heresy. 

Ignatius' movement appealed not only to the simple-minded and 
pious, but also to the more enlightened Catholics of his age, for 
he frankly admitted the importance of learning and science, chos- 
ing as- his first companions such only as were brilliant scholars. To 
enlightened Catholics he promised a revival of learning in the 
Church, while to the reactionary element he promised reforms; 


Power and Prestige 207 

more efficient inquisitorial methods; and a renewal of piety and 

The fame of the soldier-priests spread fast and wide. The 
"new idea" caught on. The rich, the powerful and the fervent 
hastened to place themselves at Ignatius' service. Immense sums 
of money and recruits from the noblest families were forthcoming 
in abundance. Ignatius set himself to organise his army along the 
lines of strict obedience and centralised authority, elsewhere de- 
scribed. He dictated lines of policy and directed the strategy of 
his army from Rome. Before he died the movement he had initi- 
ated was in full swing; the era of Jesuitism had begun. 

Thus the power and prestige of the Order originated in the 
brilliant conception of Ignatius, the conception that was again to be 
realised at Trenton, and was to make Washington immortal. In 
one case the Church was saved from; disruption; in the other a 
new-born Republic was saved from collapse. The prestige that 
Ignatius won was shared by his comrades deservedly, and by his 
successors through courtesy, just as to this day a certain honour is 
claimed by every American in virtue of his living under the shadow 
of Washington's statue. 

There can be no doubt but that Ignatius rejoiced very heartily 
at the power that fell to him, and to the Order he had founded, 
and he set himself to devise means for the maintenance and increase ^ 
of this power. He believed that the greater such power was, the 
greater good he would be able to do. This idea of Ignatius in due 
time became a fixed principle in the mind of the Order, and the 
history of the Jesuits is the story of the married-life of piety and 

Ignatius first of all aimed at increasing the numerical strength - 
of the Order. The Pope had, in 1540, limited the membership 
of the New Order to sixty, but Ignatius secured the removal of 
this restriction and set himself by means of the "Spiritual Exer- 
cises" and the educational establishments he founded, to win recruits. * 
Before the Order was sixty years old it had five thousand members, 
and at the time of the Suppression this number was augmented to 
twenty-two and a half thousand. 

The extent of the Society's possessions increased proportionately. 
At Ignatius' death, in 1556, the Order possessed about one hundred 

zo8 The Jesuit .Enigma 

houses and colleges, and at the time of the Suppression in 1773 
Order possessed seven hundred colleges and universities, as well as 
nine hundred residences, houses and mission-stations. 

One of the reasons for the rapid increase in power and wealth 
of the Order was the suggestion assiduously spread abroad that 
,( the Jesuits were super-men, paragons of learning, workers of 
I miracles, disguised angels from heaven, and so forth. Jesuits were, 
it was believed, destined to bring about the millennium of Catho- 
licity. Even those who had never seen them readily believed that 
they were perfect in learning and virtue, indefatigable workers, 
achieving everywhere the unheard-of and impossible. Jesuits were 
said to be the most valiant of^all warriors in the battle for the Faith. 
They were the "hammerers of heretics" and the prophets of the 

Needless to say it was easy for Jesuits to work miracles and 
to achieve wonders when their path was everywhere prepared by 
-^such strong suggestion. They came; they saw; they conquered. 
They played the role of divine healers. They cured the ^sick; 
averted plagues; reconciled enemies; solved problems; and gloried 
in vanquishing devils. Even heretics were influenced by the sug- 
gestion of their prowess. "Lo! Here they come! Hosanna! 
Victory! The Jesuits! The Holy Fathers!" And heretics 

Here and there were people, less suggestible, who did not accept 
Jesuits as saints and miracle workers. Paris University; Louvain,; 
and Salamanca; Melchior Cano, the Dominican; the Bishop of 
Toledo; and apparently the Jews and Moslems. "Put me some- 
where where are no Jews or Moslems," cried Francis Xavier. No 
doubt he found them sceptical of his raisings of the dead to life. 
Jesuits went forth, full of confidence in their powers, and 
intoxicated with the wine of victory. But Ignatius guided their 
.' steps. "Don't censure those in authority," he told them, fearing 
lest in their enthusiasm they might awaken the enmity of the great 
by indiscriminate Philippics. "We ought to be more ready to 
approve and praise as well the statutes and recommendations as 
the manners (lives) of our Superiors (than to reprove them). 
When you are speaking to men of authority fix a deferential look 
a little below the eyes; seek only the friendship of women of 

Power and Prestige 209 

high estate; be most careful to cultivate the good-will of those in 
power." Jesuit prophets were thus constrained to pursue a policy 
that John the Baptist would have scorned. True, they were to 
baptise, but they were not to use such expressions as "food of vipers" 
in respect to the rich and mighty. Bobadilla, one of Ignatius' first 
companions, went against this policy and anathematised the Emperor 
Charles V. He was at once recalled from the "front" and sent 
into the desert to do penance. 

With varying fortunes and making slower progress as time 
went on, the Jesuit Order at last reached the pinnacle of its power / 
and prestige in the early eighteenth, century. It had become more 
influential and more welilthythan any other organisation in the 
world. It held a position in world affairs that no oath-bound group 
of men has ever held before or since. "The Jesuits were masters 
of the Courts of almost all the Catholic Kings and Sovereigns," 
wrote Saint-Simon, in his Memoirs, and Fr. Cordara, S.J., admitted 
that "nearly all the Kings and Sovereigns of Europe had only 
Jesuits as directors ofjheir consciences, so that the whole of Europe 
appeared to be governed by Jesuits only." But the taste of power 
and prestige had become so sweet to the lips of the Jesuit that he 
began to seek it for its own sake. A little later Clement XIV 
was to declare that "the Society was everywhere reproached with 
too much avidity and eagerness for earthly goods," which greed 
"exasperated many rulers of nations against it." 

If we are to believe the celebrated Fr. Paul Hoffaus, S.J., who 
was sent by the General Acquaviva to visit the Upper German 
Province, Jesuits at an early date began to develop a taste for 
riches. He wrote to Acquaviva in 1596. 

"We have swerved aside, we have fallen away violently indeed 
from the first form of poverty. We are not content with necessary 
things, but desire that all shall be comfortable, plentiful, diverse, 
profuse, elegant, splendid, gilded, precious and luxurious. . . . 
Woe to those who have brought about and devised this damnable 
and accursed expenditure to the corruption of our religious pov- 
erty. . . . There is not a trace left of the poverty of our fathers. 
Everything is done in grand style." Ten years later (1605), 
Fr. Mariana was to comment on "the excessive and scandalous 
enjoyments of the Spanish Jesuits"; on the large farms that they 

2io The Jesuit Enigma 

owned j and on their managing as "steward-chaplains" large pos- 
sessions of penitents. Indeed within nine years of the death of 
, Ignatius, a General Congregation (1565) had to legislate against 
' j the possession, by Jesuit Houses, of large farms, and the selling of 
j produce in the public markets, and the conducting of lawsuits in 
the pursuit of legacies. 

The most dramatic testimony to Jesuit "avidity and eagerness for 
earthly goods" is contained in a letter from the Venerable Bishop 
Palafox of Los Angeles to Innocent X, dated May 25, 1647. 
It treats of the wealth of the Mexican Jesuits of that time-. 

"Most Holy Father: 

I found almost all the wealth, all immovables, and all the 
treasures of this Province of America in the hands of the 
Jesuits, who still possess them. Two of their colleges have 
300,000 sheep, without counting the Small flocks; and whilst 
almost all the Cathedral Churches and all the Orders together 
have hardly three sugar refineries, the Society has six of the 
largest. One of these refineries is valued at more than half a 
million thalers; and this single province of the Jesuits, which 
however only consists of ten colleges, possesses, as I have just 
said, six of these refineries, each of which brings in one hun- 
dred thousand thalers yearly. Besides this they have various 
cornfields of enormous size. Also they have silver mines, and 
if they continue to increase their power and wealth as they 
have done up to now, the secular clergy will become their 
sacristans and the laymen their stewards, while the other Orders 
will be forced to collect alms at their doors. All this property 
and all these considerable revenues which might make a sover- 
eign powerful, serve no other purpose than to maintain ten 
colleges. . . . To this may be added the extraordinary skill 
with which they make use of and increase their super-abundant 
wealth. They maintain public warehouses, cattlefairs, 
butchers-stalls, and shops. They send a part of their goods by 
way of the Philippine Islands to China. They lend out their 
money for usury, and thus cause the greatest loss and injury 
to others." 

Power and Prestige 2 1 1 

The Jesuits, as is well known, held very large regions of Para- 
guay under missionary control from 1650 to 1750. More than 
a quarter of a million natives worked under their direction, and no 
payment was made directly 1 to them. The Jesuits "did not think 
it proper to give ideas of cupidity to Christians." They were 
educated, trained, housed, clothed, fed and, to some extent, amused, 
but what became of the surplus profits of their labours, and of the 
extensive trading that was carried on? Over two thousand boats 
are said to have been engaged in carrying merchandise and goods on 
the Parana River; and the economic value of the Reductions was 
beyond doubt very great: so great indeed as to have awakened the 
envy of Spanish and Portuguese traders. Robertson estimated that 
the Reductions represented at least $25,000,000 capital for the 
Society. Even granting that such an estimate was excessive, and 
admitting that the missionaries laboured in this vineyard for noble 
motives, nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the "material fruit" 
must have been very considerable. 

If we travel eastwards, to the Indian Mission, we find that at 
Pondicherry the Jesuits were considered to be scooping up large 
profits by trading. A certain M. Martin, the Manager of the 
French Trading Company at Pondicherry, stated in one of his 
reports: * 

"It is an established fact that, next to the Dutch, the Jesuits 
carry on the greatest and most successful trade in the East Indies. 
They surpass the English and other nations, even the Portuguese 
in this respect. . . . They have carried on trade to such an extent 
that Fr. Tachard alone owes the Trading Company at Pondicherry 
more than 160,000 piastres (about 450,000 French livres). You 
have been able to observe that the fifty-eight bales which belong to 
these Fathers, the smallest of which was as large again as one of 
those belonging to the French Trading Company, were distributed 
among all the ships of the squadron (which Louis XIV had sent 
to the East Indies under Admiral du Quene) and were not filled 
with rosaries or 'Agnus DeiV or other weapons which would be 
characteristic of an Apostolic consignment. They were the fine 
and good wares which they bring out from Europe, to sell in this 

1 Cf. Voyages de M. du Quene, III, 15. Trans, from Hoensbroech, II, 
P- 91- 

212 The Jesuit Enigma 

country, and they import as much as they can get on the ships at 
every outward sailing." 

I must confess that I find no means of testing the accuracy of 
M. Martin's allegation. It may or it may not have been as he 
stated. However, as regards the allegation made about Jesuit 
trading in the Island of Martinique somewhat later, we know that 
it had to be frankly admitted by the Order. We know, too, that 
in 1622 Urban VIII issued a decree Ex Debito, forbidding 
Jesuits and other Orders to deal in trade and commerce, and that 
forty-seven years later Clement IX in renewing this decree in his 
Bull Sollicitudo names the Jesuits nine times and warns them 
against trade and commerce. This he would hardly have done 
had he not been convinced that they were guilty. In China the 
Jesuits lent money to a large extent, and defended themselves on 
the grounds that they only charged 24 per cent interest. In Cochin 
China, they had to be forbidden by a Papal Legate from carrying 
on their lucrative trade in drugs with the natives. 

At the time of the Suppression the Order was "as a whole rich 
and opulent" (divitem et opulentam), according to Fr. Cordara, 
S.J. The Austrian State Officials at that time assessed the posses- 
sions of the Upper German Province at fifteen and a half million 
guldens and they found that this did not represent all the wealth 
of the Province as enormous sums had been funded outside the 
country, of which they traced four million guldens to Holland. 
Joseph ,11 of Austria counted on a personal profit of $10,000,000 
from the Suppression. The French and Spanish Provinces were 
likewise exceedingly wealthy; and indeed the wealth of Jesuits 
was an embarrassment from the point of view of polemics. If 
they had admitted their wealth, they would have added plausibility 
to the argument that their enemies were incited against them 
through greed of gold, but on the other hand such an admission 
would have weakened their plea of immaculate virtue. They 
tried therefore to spread the report that "their enemies thought 
them to be rich, but that in reality they were poor," which is the 
plea of the Order to this day. 

Some readers may be interested to know something of the actual 

wealth of the Jesuits in the United States. It is beyond doubt 

.very considerable, although it is difficult to estimate it accurately. 

Power and Prestige 213 

As regards real estate the Order is remarkably well off. The 
Park Avenue (No. 980) property; Fordham and Georgetown Uni- 
versities; Boston College; Poughkeepsie; Woodstock; Weston; to- 
gether with many colleges and estates in the South and West repre- 
sent many millions of money. Counting some mission-stations, the 
Jesuits of this country own one hundred and sixty-five estates, very 
many of them being of enormous value, and the majority of them 
being free of taxes. 

As regards income, besides the continuous stream of presents and 
offerings made at each of their shrines and churches, and the 
fees of their pupils and the receipts of their missionaries from ser- 
mons, retreats, triduums, missions, and so forth, there is a large 
revenue from masses. Offerings for masses vary a great deal, from 
one dollar as a minimum to ten or twenty dollars. As an average 
five dollars approximates to the figure" received for each Jesuit mass. 
The smaller offerings are sent away to priests in other Orders. 
There are about fourteen hundred Jesuit priests belonging to the 
American Provinces and each says about three hundred stipend 
masses per annum. Hence, from this source of revenue alone there 
conies to the Order in all probability a few million dollars a year. 

The profits of the pious publication, The American Messenger of 
the Sacred. Hearty is enormous, not only on account of its circula- 
tion of half a million, but on account of the numerous pious objects, 
pictures, medals, and so forth, that it is the means of selling. An 
active Jesuit has many sources of revenue. Besides his work, say, as 
a teacher, which represents revenue to his Superior, he gets money 
for masses, lectures, for occasional sermons, for visiting the sick, 
for "supply work," and for writing, if he does any writing. In 
addition he gets money presents from pious Catholics that he hap- 
pens to meet. He may be handed, as I was by a Catholic friend, a 
fifty dollar bill to pay carfare; or he may be presented with a first- 
class automobile or motor-boat. Whatever the individual Jesuit 
receives, on no matter what stipulation, must go direct into the 
spacious maw of the Superior. 

It is told of Saint Ignatius that on one occasion he instructed Fr. 
Lainez (who succeeded him as General of the Order), to "insinu- 
ate" to the wife of Duke Cosimo de Medici, his penitent, who was 
shortly to be confined, that it would be becoming for her to do 

214 The Jesuit Enigma 

what the Queen of Portugal had done when in a like condition, 
namely to make a settlement of five hundred golden florins on a 
Jesuit college. The former, I think, had been rewarded for her 
generosity by having the blessing of twins. 

This kind of Jesuit "insinuation" is still practised in various 
forms. A pious Jesuit lay-brother, whom I knew personally, drew 
a tidy revenue from the married women of the city in which he was 
living by an efficacious devotion that he invented. These ladies 
would come to him before confinement for his "remedy." The 
"remedy" consisted in his cutting up in small pieces a holy picture 
of the "Little Flower," which when stirred in a glass of water had 
to be swallowed by the expectant mother. Invariably the happiest 
results followed. 

Jesuits will not, of course, admit that they are rich, although 
some' vain old Fathers seem rather flattered when they hear their 
high-born friends hinting at the hidden treasures of the Order. 
Usually Jesuits have recourse to the old argument. "Look at a 
Jesuit's room. How poor! How unfurnished! How empty! How 
can you say that Jesuits are rich?" This, however, is not a proof 
of the poverty of the Order but of its hypocrisy. The Jesuit who 
may only have a narrow strip of carpet and a few plain chairs in his 
own room, has only to take a few steps and he will find himself in 
lofty corridors, splendid halls, sumptuous libraries, or possibly in a 
delightful garden, all belonging to himself and his companions, 
situated probably in the most exclusive part of some modern city, 
where each square foot represents a fortune. Every comfort is his; 
the best clothes, food, and books that money can buy. If sick he 
has the best medical attendance in the finest hospitals. Every year 
he gets an expensive holiday at the seaside. He may, it is true, live 
in a poorly furnished sleeping-apartment, but it is in a house that 
equals in value and magnificence mediaeval palaces. For real pov- 
erty, like that of Bethlehem or Nazareth, one should not go to 
980 Park Avenue, but to the slums along the East or North River. 

It must be remembered, too, that an Order like the Jesuits goes 
on steadily increasing its wealth from year to year; accumulating 
capital, and investing the sums of money, often very large, that 
accrue to it from the new recruits, and from legacies. It is true 
that the Order has found that legacies often lead to unpleasant 

Power and Prestige 215 

publicity and legal complications, but it faces this unpleasantness 
bravely when the legacy is worth while, as in the Kennedy case in 
Dublin, some twenty years ago, or the celebrated De Boey case in 
Brussels in 1864. 

I have referred more than once to pious publications of the 
Jesuits, which the Constitutions recommend so warmly as fostering 
devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Blessed Virgin. Elsewhere 
I have pointed out that it would be more sincere if the Constitu- 
tions recommended these publications on the ground of their being 
productive of "material fruit." As they are so important a factor 
in Jesuit power, both on account of the publicity which they repre- 
sent for the Order and as an avenue of pious trading, it may be 
well to give an illustration. I take as an example The Irish Mes- 
senger of the Sacred Heart (January, 1927). The circulation of 
this paper is about a quarter of a million; it may be more, but its 
exact circulation is a secret of Superiors. It consists of fifty small 
pages, of which nine fages are advertisements of Jesuit wares, and 
Jesuit organisations. There are two additional pages of testimonial 
letters about the Messenger, which conclude with a note from the 
Editor. c "We advise all those who have friends abroad to send 
them the little Irish Messenger. It will come to them like a ray of 
sunshine from the old land, and be a means of keeping them and 
their families faithful to God and to their religious duties. . . . 
The Messenger will be sent direct from the Messenger Office, */ 
you enclose the name with full address and yearly subscription" 

Some of the "Ads" may perhaps be quoted. "All should wear the 
badge of the Sacred Heart which may be had at the Messenger 
Office, for 53. a 100 (large)" (p. 27). "Complete Consecration 
Sets (Oleograph picture, etc. . . .), price is. 6d." (p. 31). "Very 
handsome picture of St. Aloysius. . . . 2s. 6d. a 100" (p. 36). 
"An Ideal New Year's Gift. In response to numerous requests we 
have just had our beautiful oleograph 'picture of the Sacred Hearty 
with 'promise*} very handsomely framed in imitation rosewood and 
gold frame. . Price 4*. complete; safely packed between wooden 
boards and delivered at residence, 6/6" (p. 50). The "promises" 
referred to above contain one which guarantees salvation to every 
Catholic who does the "Nine First Fridays." 

The Messenger advertises pieties of all kinds: Apostleship of 

2i6 The Jesuit Enigma 

Prayer; Retreats; "Penny Dinners"; Crusaders of the Sacred 
Heart; Help for Holy Souls; Consecration of Families; Manuals; 
Medals; but there is something to sell in connection with each. It 
has one page "In Lighter Vein" (p. 32) ... which contains the 
following riddle . . . applicable perhaps to the sons of Ignatius. 
"What creature is the greatest traveler?" Answer: "The gold- 
fish) because it thinks nothing of a trif around the globe" 

The Jesuits are well aware of the power that accrues from pub- 
licity and advertising. They aim at splendour, gaudy splendour, in 
the architecture of their colleges and churches. They secure recog- 
nition from high functionaries, and at high functions. If possible 
they parade a Bernard Vaughan who represents them at court or at 
what corresponds to court, and who blows the trumpet for the 
Order. In the realm of piety they secured the canonisation of types 
of Saints; Aloysius and Berchmans to attract the young; Alphonsus 
Rodriguez to attract lay-brothers; Borgia to attract elderly nobles, 
and so forth. The mentality of the Order in this respect ^reminds 
one of what during the Great War was done by various Govern- 
ments to attract recruits. The outstanding piece of Jesuit "pub- 
licity work," however, is due to Ignatius himself. It was the choice 
. of the name "Society of Jesus." Had Jesuits been called "Igna- 
y tians," they would never have climbed to the pinnacle of fame. 
Ignatius fully realised the value of this asset. "Even if all the 
brethren," he said, in regard to the name, Society of Jesus, "should 
wish to change it, and all others (except the Pope) should agree it 
ought to be changed, he would never consent because he had re- 
ceived such plain signs of God's approval of it that to give it up 
would be for him acting against God's will." 

Jesuits employ as active means of publicity such congregations as 
"Children of Mary"; "Bona Mors"; "Apostleship of Prayer," and 
so forth. I do not, of course, wish to imply that they look uniquely 
or even principally to publicity in such works. But they most 
certainly use the associates of these organisations in spreading their 
influence and in enhancing their prestige. And some of these or- 
ganisations are numerically enormous. Alumni Associations, at- 
tached to their various colleges, are also sources of power to the 
Order. Perhaps, however, from no other source do the Jesuits 
derive so much direct and loyal help as from Orders of Nuns such 

Power and Prestige 217 

as the Sacred Heart Nuns. These ladies spread Jesuit propaganda 
most effectively. If the Jesuits want the reputation of some one to 
be weakened or discredited, they have only to hint the matter to 
some friendly Nuns and the task is quickly and effectively accom- 
plished. An instance of such co-operation may prove interesting. 
At the time I left the Order one of my patients was a teacher at 
a Sacred Heart Convent. She had come to me with her father's 
full approval. (Her father was a Protestant doctor.) As soon, 
however, as I quitted the Order, this lady was sent for by her 
Dean, a Sacred Heart Nun, and told that she would be instantly 
dismissed if she continued to seek treatment at my hands. Had 
this matter become public, and had legal proceedings followed, it 
might have been a "cause celebre." 

The influence of the Order, even in quarters where it is disliked 
or despised, is surprisingly great. T^o illustrate this matter I shall 
refer to another incident that followed my break with the Jesuits. 
At the time an article which I had written was scheduled to appear 
in the October issue of the Catholic World, a review belonging to 
the Paulist Fathers. The article was already in type, and the editor, 
Fr. James M. Gillis, had written me, "I consider your article an 
extraordinarily fine description of the subject and I am very thank- 
ful to you for letting me have it" That was Sept. 4. . . . Ten 
days later the Paulist Superior General wrote me. "To my em- 
barrassment I learned yesterday that you had withdrawn from the 
Jesuits in consequence of a difference of opinion with the Provincial. 
My embarrassment comes from the consciousness that a public pro- 
nouncement by you under our auspices will inevitably be regarded 
as an expression on our part concerning the merits of the dispute." 
He, therefore, asked me to cancel my engagement with Fr. Gillis, 
and also with another Paulist, Fr. Cronin, who had invited me to 
speak on the Paulist radio. 

"Why do you take sides in a perfectly private dispute, why do 
you condemn me unheard?" I wrote to Fr. Gillis, adding at the 
end of my letter, "I should like if I have to write the history of 
this matter to be able to say that the Paulist Fathers refused to con- 
demn me unheard." Poor Fr. Gillis "hastened to explain" that he 
had not "taken sides." "Indeed, it was precisely to avoid the ap- 
pearance of 'taking sides' that we are adopting the course we have 

2i8 The Jesuit Enigma 

taken" (Letter dated Sept. 17). Did Fr. Gillis realise that being 
unfaithful to his contract to publish the article he had accepted 
seemed very much more like "taking sides," than the keeping of his 
contract would have seemed? The trepidation of the Paulist 
Fathers must have amused their old enemies the Jesuits. But in any 
case it was some tribute to the power of the latter. 

An interesting proof of Jesuit prestige and power in this country 
is the existence, in the shadow of the Capitol, at Washington, of 
the Jesuit School for Foreign Service, opened a few years ago 
through the instrumentality of an Irish-American, Fr. Edmund 
Walsh, S.J. At this school of diplomatic service, said to be the 
largest of its kind in America, young Americans are trained to 
guide the future fortunes of the Republic. Already several alumni 
of this school hold important positions in consulates throughout the 

There is no small irony in the situation. Jesuits by rule are de- 
tached from love of country, and bound not to take sides in quar- 
rels "that may chance to exist between Christian Princes and Lords." 
Each and every Jesuit Is bound under oath to obey the behests of his 
General at Rome, who at present happens to be a Pole, and who 
most p-obably will never be an American. It is quite within the 
power of the General to dictate the principles and theories to be 
taught by the Jesuits at Washington, and he actually insists on 
having a detailed account of all that is done and taught there sent 
to him at least twice every year. 

I have no reason to doubt that American Jesuits are individually 
loyal to their country, but one cannot forget the words of the Pope, 
Clement XIV, who accused them of "rising u$ against the very 
kings who admitted them into their countries^ The fact remains, 
whatever interpretation may be put upon it, that the Jesuits have 
attained to such prestige and power in this country that they have 
been able to lay hands upon the most delicate and nationally im- 
portant form of education, in spite of a record which little justifies 
confidence in their worthiness for such work. It is no doubt an 
edifying spectacle for other Orders to see Jesuits, who by rule "have 
nothing whatsoever to do with secular or political affairs," in charge 
of a school of diplomacy and foreign service. 

The power of the Society of Jesus in the Catholic Church is be- 

Power and Prestige 219 

yond doubt enormous. It is said, apparently with truth, that the 
Jesuit General, the "Black Pope" as he is called, can make and un- 
make bishops and even cardinals. He has various agents and 
representatives within the walls of the Vatican, and he can gain 
the ear of the Pope whenever he wishes. He can always rely upon 
the accepted tradition of the orthodoxy of the Society, and if he 
has to unmake any enemy of the Order, he has the advantage of 
knowing that critics of the Order are looked upon at Rome as ipso 
facto suspect of heresy. Again and again the Society has been able 
to oppose successfully the plans and wishes of Popes. Just as the 
"permanent staff" at Whitehall is able to block the efforts of 
transient Ministers, so the Society which is perennial at Rome is 
able to block the efforts of passing Popes. 

The secret, however, of the strength of the Society in the Catho- 
lic Church lies in the phrase used ; by Fr. Tyrrell, "ecclesia in 
ecclesia?' (a church within a church). In this pregnant phrase the 
position of the Society is summed up. The Order is to the Church 
what the Church is to the world. The Order is a kind of parasite 
sucking the vital power of the Church. It has grown fat upon the 
spoils of the Church. In the case of nuns, for instance, most of the 
influence they win by their labours is controlled by the Jesuits. 
Any accretion to their power expands the power of the Jesuits. 
According as the discipline of the Church as a whole increases, the 
Society finds it easier to gain its ends. It holds the confidence and 
consciences of so many bishops, cardinals, and prelates; gives so 
many priests and nuns retreats; directs, through its theologians, so 
many pious organisations; in fine, works in so many ways on the 
functionaries of the Church, that it has become as it were an inner 
circle in the Church. It has made the Church more reactionary, 
and more absolutist, through centralisation. It has aimed not un- 
successfully at the Jesuitising of the Church. It has made the Pope 
more and more like its own autocratic General; and has reduced 
the bishops more and more to the status of Provincials in the 
Society who are officials nominated by and controlled by the 
General, without any inherent authority. 

The Society has been able, wherever it determined to do so, to 
worm its way into the heart of affairs. We have just seen how it 
has made itself count in Washington, by its school of Foreign 

22O The Jesuit Enigma 

Service. It had less difficulty in making itself count at Rome, and 
in winning the position of tyrece^tor morum of the Catholic Church. 
So to speak, it regards it as its right and duty to keep the Church in 
order, to direct its spirit, to chaperon the Popes, to fulfil its divine 
mission of ruling the Church from without and from within. It 
is the supreme manifestation of its Superiority Complex. Itself, it 
is ex lex. It gets itself dispensed from every enactment of Canon 
Law, or General Council, or Papal Decree that impinges on its 
"revealed" Constitutions. It interferes in everything. It admon- 
ishes every one. It denounces whatever it disapproves of. One 
thing it never has done, and apparently never will do, and that is 
"toe the line" with other Orders of the Church. 

The power that the Order wields in Protestant countries is sur- 
prising. In England, where the Catholic population is only six or 
eight per cent of the whole, the Jesuits have no small influence in 
affairs of state. They took pains to flatter Queen Victoria, and 
when Edward VII was on the throne, they exercised power over 
him through Fr. Bernard Vaughan. 

In Protestant Prussia, under the Kaiser, Jesuits could bring pres- 
sure to bear and thwart that autocrat's wishes. The story told by 
Count von Hoensbroech is very clear proof of this fact. 

After leaving the Jesuit Order, Hoensbroech was anxious to 
enter the State Service in Prussia, and the Imperial Chancellor, 
Count Caprivi, was approached on his behalf. Meanwhile, how- 
ever, the Jesuits had advised the Centre Party (the Catholic Party) 
about this move of their ex-member Hoensbroech, and they brought 
pressure to bear on Caprivi. The latter therefore refused the re- 
quest made on behalf of Hoensbroech, saying: "What would the 
Holy Father in Rome and the Centre Party say if we were to em- 
ploy Count Hoensbroech in the State Service?" 

In the February following, 1895, the Count was invited by Im- 
perial Command to a court ball, held in the White Hall of Berlin 
Castle. He was informed that the Kaiser was anxious to meet him. 
The Kaiser conversed with him for half an hour to the great annoy- 
ance of Lieber, the leader of the Centre Party. When the Kaiser 
asked Count Hoensbroech what he intended to do, the latter told 
him of Caprivi's remark. The Kaiser took a step back, put his hand 
to his sword, and exclaimed excitedly, "What, did Caprivi say that?" 

Power and Prestige 22 1 

"Yes, your Majesty," replied Hoensbroech. "Well, my dear 
Count" said the Kaiser, "then I assure you that from this time for- 
ward I shall take your affairs Into my own hands" The Kaiser 
promised to give Hoensbroech a private interview in order to have 
fuller information about him. 

Lieber, the Catholic leader, got to work at once and the Catholic 
papers raised an outcry against "the extraordinary circumstance" of 
the Kaiser's invitation to Hoensbroech. Lukanus, the Kaiser's 
Chamberlain, meanwhile, for some mysterious reason, kept post- 
poning the private audience on various pretexts. A promise reached 
Hoensbroech from the Kaiser that he would be appointed head of a 
district (Landrat), and the Minister of the Interior hinted to 
Hoensbroech that it would be advisable for him to go to Kiel and 
to get acquainted with that district. Hoensbroech went to live 
there, but the private audience was still delayed. 

Finally, in January, 1896, through the office of his friend, Gen- 
eral Field Marshal Count Waldersee, the long promised audience 
was arranged. The Kaiser received Hoensbroech very graciously, 
opening the interview with the words, "I have asked you here to 
learn your opinion about the attitude of my government towards 
the Centre Party?" A long conversation ensued but the Kaiser said 
never a word about the appointment he had promised, but when 
parting told Hoensbroech that "Lukanus would tell him everything 

Lukanus, however, had only to inform him that an appointment 
as Landrat or anything else of the kind was absolutely impossible. 

What lay behind all this? Later pn Hoensbroech found out that 
the Centre Party had told the Minister for War that should a State 
appointment be given to Hoensbroech y the ex-Jesuit, the -party would 
vote against the next naval estimates! The Minister for War had 
informed the Kaiser, who answered, "If matters stand thus I shall 
let the man drop." The autocratic Kaiser had crossed swords with 
the Jesuits, outlaws though they were in his kingdom, and had been 

It was not, however, at the Royal Court alone that Jesuit influence 
prevailed. When Dr. Bosse, the Minister of Public Instruction, was 
approached by Hoensbroech, it was the old story again. "What a 
storm the Centre Party would raise In Parliament" said Dr. Bosse, 

222 The Jesuit Enigma 

"were I to consent to your appointment as lecturer (in Berlin Uni- 
versity), or even advocate it!" Hoensbroech's reply was stinging 
but useless. "Your Excellency, until to-day I should not have 
thought that a Minister in a land of religious equality like Prussia 
would thus give way before the troops of Rome." A request of 
Hoensbroech to Prince Hohenlohe for admission into the diplomatic 
service met with a similar refusal. In Protestant Prussia the Jesuits 
were victorious all along the line ! 

-It will perhaps surprise many people to know that the Jesuits 
exercised considerable influence on the destiny of some nations, 
during the Great War. How far they influenced the policy 
of Spain I do not know. If they threw their weight into the neu- 
trality policy of Spain it was all to their credit; most people now 
recognise that Spain acted wisely in keeping out of the maelstrom. 
As regards Belgium, it is commonly believed that it was the Jesuit 
counsellor of King Albert who finally persuaded him to take up 
arms to resist the German invasion. Albert's government had 
been far from unanimous on the wisdom of the policy of armed 
resistance. In Ireland, the Jesuits exercised what the people in 
general regarded as a sinister influence on the fortunes of the coun- 
try. It may be remembered that 'Sinn Fein' had set up a pro- 
visional government which was recognised by about 85 per cent of 
the people as the de jure government of the country. But there 
was one weakness in this very serious form of make-believe. It was 
that the Catholic bishops held back and refused to sanction the move- 
ment or to recognise the People's Government. Had the Catholic 
bishops joined in with their people, nothing could have prevented the 
Irish Nation from attaining its independence, and probably without 
any serious bloodshed or destruction of property. The Sinn Fein 
movement was essentially a pacifist movement relying on moral 
force. But without the co-operation of the bishops it was hopeless to 
try to hold the people together long enough to secure victory. Why 
did not the bishops join in? The answer to this question is found 
in their subservience to the advice of their Jesuit theologian, Fr. 
Peter Finlay. 

It is the fashion, nowadays, to criticise the chauvinism of the ex- 
tremists in every country who fanned the flames of hate during the 
war, and who goaded their governments to more and more cruelty 

Power and Prestige 223 

and vindictiveness. Among the chauvinists of France, England 
and other countries were to be found Jesuits, men who by profes- 
sion, and in virtue of the name they bore, should have been the advo- 
cates of peace. But they were carried away by their old craving 
for popularity and power. They desired the prestige that at the 
time was only accorded to the "die-hard" elements of the nations. 
They strove to out-do all others in militaristic propaganda. In 
France, to win popularity, they recalled their missionaries from the 
Far East in order that by decorating their religious habits with Ger- 
man blood, the people might be pleased. No weaker, more unchris- 
tian, or more shortsighted conduct ever disgraced a religious Order. 
In England, Fr. Bernard Vaughan, the spokesman of the Order, in 
public speeches urged his fellow countrymen to "exterminate the 
rats" (the Germans, Austrians, etc.). The war gave the Jesuits 
an excellent opportunity of showing! 'whether or not, as they had 
always pretended, they were super-Christians. They failed lament- 
ably to establish their claim. 



"PERHAPS the commonest libel formulated against the Society," 
writes Fr. T. J. Campbell, S.J., 1 "is the accusation that it is the 
teacher, if not the author of the immoral maxim: c the end justifies 
the means,' which signifies that an action bad in itself becomes good 
if performed for a good purpose. If the Society ever taught this 
doctrine, at least it cannot be charged with having the monopoly of 
it. Thus, for instance, the great Protestant empire which is the 
legitimate progeny of Martin Luther's teaching, proclaimed to the 
world that the diabolical f frightfulness' which it employed in the 
late war was prompted solely by its desire for peace. . . . Finally, 
every unbiassed mind will concede that the persistent use of poisoned 
gas by the foes of 'the Society is nothing else than a carrying out of 
the maxim of c the end justifies the means.' It has been proved, 
times innumerable, that this odious doctrine was never taught by 
the Society, and the average Jesuit regards each recrudescence of 
the charge as an insufferable annoyance, and usually takes no notice 
of it." 

The proof that Fr. Campbell adduces to show that the Society 
never taught the doctrine must be considered perfectly satisfactory. 
Agajn and again, Jesuit Superiors (in spite of the poverty of the 
Order), have offered very large sums of money to any one who 
should point out in the writings of the Order approval of or assent 
to the doctrine in question. But, although many attempted to do so, 
including the learned ex- Jesuit, Count von Hoensbroech, none 
succeeded. It is only fair, therefore, to admit that the Society has 
proved its point, namely, that it never taught the maxim "the end 
justifies the means." One must hope that this odious charge will 
never again be made, and that Fr. Campbell's fears that "it may 
again be heard of at any moment" will not be realised. 

* History of the Jeswts, p. 287. 


A Galumwy Against the Jesuits 225 

While it should be accepted as true, therefore, that the Society 
never taught that the "end justifies the means," it remains to be 
seen whether or not the Society ever "carried out" this doctrine in 
practice, for it is only right to accept the distinction which Fr. 
Campbell makes in the passage quoted above, between "teaching" 
and "carrying out" the doctrine. He takes, as an example of "carry- 
ing out" the doctrine "the persistent use of poisoned gas" (calumny, 
etc.), and if it were possible to show that the Society availed itself 
of such a means in its polemics, it would be true to say that it 
"carried out the maxim of the end justifying the means." 

Jesuits, being the "close followers of Jesus Christ," would nat- 
urally be expected to "love their enemies" as Christ taught, and any- 
thing in the nature of using poisoned gas against enemies would be 
particularly unseemly in them, as well as being the "carrying out 
of the maxim that the end justifies the means." 

Now, the Society regards its critics, and especially its ex- Jesuit 
critics, as its enemies, and it will be apropos to examine how it speaks 
of them. We take Fr. Campbell and Fr. Pollen as examples, as 
they are the most recent writers on Jesuit History who have ad- 
dressed themselves to the American public. 

Fr. Campbell, in the paragraph following that quoted above, 
refers to his ex-brother Jesuit, Hoensbroech, as follows: "Over and 
above this, he (Hoensbroech) was somewhat disqualified as a wit- 
ness, inasmuch as he not only had left the Society but had apostatised 
from the faith, and though a priest had married a wife; he was, 
moreover, notorious as a rancorous Lutheran (Civilta Cattolica, an. 
56, p. 8), but the lure of the florins led him on." Most people 
would regard this passage as containing "poisoned gas," and the 
reference to Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit Papal Organ at Rome, 
shows that in high Jesuit quarters the example of vilifying Hoens- 
broech had been set. 

Fr. Pollen z refers to ex- Jesuits as "the most embittered and un- 
trustworthy enemies of the Society"; and to critics in general thus: 
"It is notoriously impossible to expect that anti- Jesuit writers of our 
day should face their subject in a common-sense or scientific way." 
He adds that the accusation that Jesuits use the maxim, "the end 
justifies the means," is "perhaps the most salient instance of the 

2 C/. Catholic Encyclopedia. 

226 The Jesuit Enigma 

ignorance or illwill of their accusers." In fine, as we have else- 
where seen, he uses against the critics of the Order, a quotation 
from Ambrose. "He in truth is impugned in vain who is accused 
of impiety by the impious and the faithless." 

Returning now to the more general question, does the Society use 
"means" which are "bad in themselves" to bring about good 
"ends"? If so it stands convicted of "carrying out" in practice, 
though not teaching the maxim, "the end justifies the means." 

If, for instance, in order to advance its own interests, or to facili- 
tate its work, it should violate fundamental and inalienable rights 
of individuals, it would be using means bad in themselves for a 
good end (or an end supposed to be good). But does the Society 
do anything of the sort? 

Let us first turn to the manner in which the "lay-brothers" in the 
Order are treated. Lay-brothers are admitted to do domestic work, 
and are not destined for ordination. They have, of course, to 
make their Noviceship. They take perpetual vows. They are in 
every sense Jesuits. But the treatment meted out to them is, in 
general, atrocious. They are kept in severe subjection, and must 
work continuously, without stopping, save for brief periods for 
meals, recreation, and prayers. Their life is the life of slaves, 
monotonous, dreary, and lonely. And a special "mortal sin" was 
discovered for them, namely that of formally refusing to obey the 
priest in charge of them, even though he should not command 
them solemnly. 

But apart from the general harshness of their lives they are sub- 
ject to the Fourteenth Common Rule which reads as follows, and 
which will no doubt cause surprise to many. 

"None of those who are admitted into the Society for domestic 
service may learn to read or write y or If they have any learning, may 
they increase it. No one without the General's permission may 
teach them anything. They must be content to serve the Lord 
Christ in holy simplicity and humility." 

Now, one can quite understand how advantageous to the Society 
it may be to have domestic Jesuits, wholly bereft of all learning, 
and incapable of finding interest in anything outside their sweep- 
ing, cleaning, and message-running. And one can admit that the 
good end of the Order as a whole is secured all the better by such a 

A Calumny Against the Jeswts 227 

state of things. But, on the other hand, if one regards the right to 
use one's intellect and mental faculties as an inalienable and funda- 
mental right of every human, then it would seem that it is a bad 
action, an evil means, to deprive the human of such a right. And, 
when the Society does precisely this, is it not "carrying out the odious 
doctrine that the end justifies the means"? 

Let me here interrupt the course of my argument to record an 
"edifying incident," for it was told as such by my Novice Master. 
There was, not many decades ago, a saintly but stern Superior in 
the English Province of the Society who was unfortunate in hav- 
ing in his community lay-brothers who were imbued with a spirit 
that was not "the true spirit of the Society." They were discon- 
tented, and on one occasion went so far as to hold a meeting in their 
"recreation-room" to discuss their rights. Information about this 
meeting reached the ears of the Superior, and while they were still 
in conclave the door suddenly opened and he burst into the room. 
"What are you doing here?" he cried. "We are discussing our 
rights," answered one of the conspirators. "Rights!" exclaimed 
the Superior, "you have no rights but hell-fire," and with that he 
drove them out. of the room like frightened sheep. 

Whether or not it is lawful to secure by legislation the keeping 
of human adults in a state of "infantile mentality" may not be 
quite certain. To the writer at least it seems that humans have an 
inalienable and fundamental right, as well as a duty, to know and 
to think, and in these days there is no adequate road to knowing and 
thinking save through reading and through books. And so it seems 
to the writer that the Society's practice of forbidding lay-brothers 
to learn is a violation of rights, and a means evil in itself, that no 
good end can justify. 

But it is not lay-brothers alone who are coerced in such matters. 
All Jesuits are coerced in the matter of thinking, investigating, and 
reading. Let us quote, at the risk of wearisome repetition, from 
the Epitome of the Revised Jesuit Constitutions. 8 

"Sedulous and constant care must be taken in general that 'Ours 1 
be preserved unharmed from intemperate study of modern ideas 
(novitatum), and from dangerous freedom of thought. 

i. That an opinion may be put forth freely, it is not enough 

8 Sec. 319. 

228 The Jesuit "Enigma 

that it be not condemned, but great care must be taken that it be in 
accord with the clearly expressed mind of the Church, and of the 
Apostolic See, and of the doctrines of the Fathers, and the teach- 
ings of the Catholic doctors approved by common consent. 

2. Nothing new may be proposed which is not wholly in accord 
with Christian faith and piety, or which can deservedly offend the 
faithful, or which be not proven by serious reasons. Even if no 
danger to faith or piety underlie the matter, in things of any 
moment, no one without consulting Superiors shall introduce new 
questions or any opinion which is unsanctioned by an approved 

"Books and commentaries of non-Catholics are to be used only 
with the greatest caution"; "no one may imprudently praise writers 
who are rationalists, or hostile to the Church, or whose doctrine is 
suspect, but rather, all must seize opportune occasions for quoting 
Catholic writers with praise." 

Elsewhere the rules governing the use of books are given. In gen- 
eral they restrict reading to ultra-orthodox authors. It has been 
pointed out, too, that in philosophy Aristotle, and in theology 
Thomas Aquinas are to be faithfully adhered to. And as the 4yth 
Decree of the Third General Congregation declared: "Ours must so 
teach philosophy as to make it the slave and servant (ancillari et 
subservire) of scholastic theology which the Constitutions enjoin 
upon us." Liberty of thought in teaching is taboo in the Order. 
Hence, 4 "If Superiors shall discover any professors to be inclined 
towards dangerous . novelties, they must admonish them seriously, 
and if they do not mend their ways, they must be removed from 
their office of teaching, etc., and the Superiors must not hesitate to 
threaten other punishments according to the gravity of their fault." 
Coercion of thought being thus the "means" the Society employed 
for gaining its good ends, we cannot be surprised that St. Francis 
Xavier, S.J., should have written to the King of Portugal recom- 
mending the "only way" to convert the Indians. "The King 
should take a solemn oath that if any Governor did not make many 
converts, he would have him put in irons and kept long years in 
prison with confiscation of all his goods. ... If every Governor 
*Cf. Epit. 321. 

A Calumny Against the Jesuits 229 

was very certain that this oath of your Majesty would be kept, the 
Island of Ceylon, many Kings of Malabar, and the Cape of 
Comorin would be Christian in a year." 

It is an easy step from coercion of thought to approval of the 
punishment, even the capital punishment, of wrong-thinkers 
(heretics). And it is an easy matter to find Jesuit theologians 
who believed in the rectitude of putting heretics to death. "The 
crime of heresy," wrote Fr. Wenig, S.J., 1866, "can only be 
meetly atoned for and entirely prevented from injuring the eccle- 
siastical and civil community by capital punishment. . . . We have 
seen that the Ecclesiastical Inquisition cannot agree with the modern 
ideas as to toleration, enlightenment, and humanity, but for all that 
I cry, 'Long live the Ecclesiastical Inquisition.' " 5 

The Order went even farther than approving the execution of 
heretics. They regarded such events as edifying spectacles and we 
find in the original "Ratio Studiorum" the following regulation. 
"Students must not go to public exhibitions, comedies or plays, nor to 
the execution of criminals, except those of heretics" 

If, as we suppose, coercion of thought is an "evil means," to 
what depths of wickedness has not the Society plunged? Not only 
are lay-brothers prevented from using their intellects, and other 
Jesuits restricted in the use of theirs, but even those outside the 
Order are encouraged to take the most extreme steps to force think- 
ing into orthodox channels, and the spectacle of shedding of the 
blood of heretics was at one time recommended as a pious recreation 
for Jesuit pupils. 

There were, according to documents at present in the Munich 
State Archives, certain Jesuit ordinances ruling procedure against 
Jesuit pupils suspected of witchcraft and magic. Jesuits did not 
approve of extreme measures or extreme punishments against those 
suspected of such deviltry; only ordinary punshments were to be 
used in extorting answers. But one can imagine that these were 
not negligible. "In order to get at the truth no punishments other 
than the customary ones must be resorted to in our schools, nor must 
there be any threat of torture or any other severe penalty except for 
those on whom grave suspicion lies. Those who insist firmly on 

6 Uber die kirchliche wnd politische Inquisition, 1875, pp. 65 seq. 

23 The Jesuit Enigma 

their innocence are to be most carefully watched to see how they 
conduct themselves and with whom they hold converse." 6 

Coercion of thought and expression, as implied in such an ordi- 
nance as I have just quoted, is no longer practised by the Order, 
possibly for the reason that science has replaced witches riding the 
sky on broomsticks by aeroplanes and airships. But precisely the 
same spirit still actuates the Order, and guides its conduct in other 
matters. In the censorship of books written by Jesuits, to take one 
example, the old principles are still applied. 

When a Jesuit writes a book, let us suppose a work on science, 
his MS. is sent by Superiors to three or in certain cases four other 
Jesuits, whom he does not know and who are supposed not to know 
him. They can forbid the publication of the book or indicate cer- 
tain changes that must be made. Unless he makes these changes his 
book may not be published. He may entirely disagree with the 
views thus foisted upon him but he has no alternative but to submit. 
His book when it does appear will therefore not necessarily express 
his own findings or opinions, but it will express such of his findings 
and opinions as are pleasing to Superiors, minus those which dis- 
please Superiors, and in addition, certain other things, possibly very 
contrary to his views, which however the Superiors consider should 
be inserted. 

A Jesuit scientist, therefore, can never freely publish his real 
opinions on scientific questions. He cannot deliver himself of the 
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He has to play 
the role of co-operating in a subtle form of deception, or else bury 
himself for ever in silence. The Order has no doubt a high and 
holy "end" in view, the edification of the faithful, but whether 
the "means" which it employs to this "end" is good or bad, and 
whether or not it carries out in practice the odious maxim, "the 
end justifies the means," must be left to the reader to decide. 

There is a kind of deception employed by the Order, very wide 
in scope, and very serious in nature, that is no doubt practised for a 
very high motive, but which is none the less indefensible unless one 
employs the principle that "the end justifies the means." This de- 
ception is the misrepresentation by means of which novices are 
encouraged to take perpetual vows and enter the Society. What- 
? J. Friedrich, Beitr'dge zur Geschichte des Jesuitemrdens, Munich, 1881. 

A Calumny Against the Jesuits 231 

ever be said to the contrary notwithstanding, Jesuit novices are not 
given a true picture of the Society which they are encouraged to 
join. Almost everything is misrepresented; if not actually distorted 
it is put in such a light that novices do not grasp the real nature of 
things. Surely it is obvious that novices about to bind themselves 
by perpetual vows should be fully and frankly put in possession of 
all the facts, good and bad, that pertain to the difficulties of the life 
before them. 

I am ready to admit that a certain amount of information is 
given them but the information given is utterly inadequate. Novices 
are worked up to a highly emotional religious fervour, and while in 
this state they are incapable of weighing calmly and coolly the -pros 
and cons. If it is hinted that "sometimes disedifying things hap- 
pen, even in the Society, and that sometimes there is harshness and 
unfairness on the part of Superiors," that is not sufficient. Any 
one might know that fervent novices will argue thus: "Such things 
of course must happen but they hardly ever happen in so holy an 
Order as the Jesuits. And, please God, they will never happen 
again. And, anyhow, as Father Master told us, every one who dies 
in the Society will be saved. So, what matter about a few little 

Nothing is said to the novices about the kind of topics discussed 
in this book. A book of this kind, that pries into the principles that 
rule the Order, and that aims at giving an insight into actual life 
in the Order, would not be allowed in the novices' library. Novices 
enter "the Order of their dreams" not the Order as It is, and one 
cannot but sympathise with such men as Fr. George Tyrrell, who in 
later years come to realise that they are not, before God, bound by 
vows which they had made under the influence of "substantial" de- 

Personally I am perfectly sure that had I realised the hardness 
and worldliness of the secret government that functions in the 
Order, I should not have dreamed of becoming a Jesuit. But the 
deception of novices will continue and the Order will justify it on 
the grounds that God's Glory demands a plentiful supply of Jesuit 

We have now to consider a very questionable policy of the 
Order, a policy which the Order calls into play when it is faced 

232 The Jesuit Enigma 

with some grave danger or scandal, it is that of making a scapegoat 
of one of its members. This "means" is akin to that of "using 
poisoned gas" which Fr. Campbell takes as a carrying out of the 
good-end, bad-means maxim. That Jesuits are capable of having 
recourse to such methods is easily provable. Count von Hoensbroech 
relates 7 that on one occasion he went with Fr. Tilmann Pesch, 
afterwards a Jesuit Provincial, to a political meeting of German 
Catholic leaders, Prince Lowenstein, Baron Von Loe, Windthorst, 
and others. In the course of discussion the name of a Protestant 
Professor, Dr. Beyschlag of Halle, cropped up. He was causing the 
Catholics much trouble and there was question of how best to deal 
with him. Then Fn Pesch, S.J., made a suggestion, apparently to 
Hoensbroech's great embarrassment. "Is there no means of attack- 
ing him in his private life?" 

This dishonorable strategy is employed, not only against non- 
Catholics, and Catholics outside the Order; it is also employed 
when a subject Jesuit is made a scapegoat for the whole Order. 
The name of Mariana is well known to Catholic theologians. He 
was a Spanish Jesuit of the sixteenth century, one of the most 
brilliant ornaments of the Order, but destined to bring much trouble 
upon it. In the year 1598, he published a work in which among 
other things he discussed the question of the legitimacy of killing 

The book passed the censors of the Order. "I, Stephen Hojeda, 
Visitator of the Society of Jesus for the Province of Toledo, under 
the seal of special authority from our General, give permission that 
the three books Concerning the King and his Education' written 
by Fr. John Mariana of the same Society, may be published because 
they have been previously sanctioned by learned and distinguished 
men of our Order." 

- Now, in the sixth chapter of this book there occurred the follow- 
ing passage referring to the murder of Henry III, King of France: 
"He (Clement) bought the liberty of his country and nation by 
his blood. He rejoiced exceedingly in spite of blows and wounds. 
He won a great name through the murder of the King. ... Thus 
died Clement, France's everlasting glory as most 'people believe" 
Mariana, in teaching the lawfulness of killing tyrants, had in view 
7 Fourteen Years a Jesuit, Vol. II, p. 375. 

A Calumny Agamst the Jesuits 233 

not only usurpers but also legitimate princes who rule tyrannically. 

When the murder of Henry IV by Ravaillac occurred in May, 
1610, France grew wildly excited against the Jesuits on account of 
the Mariana doctrine which was commonly taught by the Order, 
and his book was publicly burned by the hangman in Paris. The 
Order then proceeded to disown the doctrine and the General Ac- 
quaviva issued a threat of excommunication against any Jesuit who 
should teach that "any person is permitted under any pretext of 
tyranny to kill Kings or Princes or to contrive their death." 

We now come to the Jesuit method of exonerating the Order. 
Mariana had hitherto been highly esteemed, and had been put for- 
ward by the Order as its representative at the Court of Philip II. 
But, at all costs he had now to be shown to be "not one of Ours." 

We turn to Fr. Campbell: 

"Now, Mariana never was and never could be a representative 
of the Society for first, sixteen years before the objectionable book 
attracted notice in France, namely in 1584, Mariana had been 
solemnly condemned by the greatest assembly of the Society, the 
General Congregation, as an unworthy son, a pestilential member 
who should be cut off from the body, and his expulsion was ordered. 
He was one of the leaders of the band of Spanish (Jesuit) Con- 
spirators who did all in their power to destroy the Society. Secondly, 
his expulsion did not take place, possibly because of outside political 
influence, like that of Philip II and the Inquisition. Nevertheless, 
in 1605, tnat is ^ ve years before the French flurry, he wrote an- 
other book entitled De Defectibus Societatis (Concerning the 
Defects of the Society), which was condemned as involving the 
censure of the papal Bull 'Ascendente Domino. 9 Instead of de- 
stroying the MS., as he should have done, if he had a spark of 
loyalty in him, he kept it, and when, in 1609, he was arrested and 
imprisoned by the Spanish authorities for his book on Finance 
which seemed to reflect on the Government, that MS. was seized 
and subsequently served as a strong weapon against the Society. 
Why should such a man be cited as the representative of a body 
from which he was ordered to be expelled and which he had at- 
tempted to destroy?" 8 

The fact that the Society of Jesus was in such a disorganised 
8 The Jesuits, pp. 274-5. 

234 The Jesuit Enigma 

state that even a General Congregation could not command obedi- 
ence, and that "political influence" from outside dominated its con- 
duct, does not detract from the fact that it officially authorised the 
publication of the ill-omened book of its "pestilential member," 
Mariana. And unless the mentality of the Order has very much 
changed in the meantime, Mariana's book must have been all the 
more carefully censored on account of the fact that he had been 
a cause of trouble. Indeed, one may fairly conclude that the So- 
ciety was in a very special way responsible for its publication. - 

There is irony in the remark of the German Jesuit Lehmkuhl, 9 
"He (Mariana) is one of the most maligned members of the Jesuit 

Let us turn now to the case of Fr. Antoine la Valette, S.J., 
whose commercial enterprises in the Island of Martinique, in the 
middle of the eighteenth century, were the occasion of the final 
expulsion of the Jesuits from France. "The Jesuit missionaries," 
writes Fr. J. H. Pollen, S.J., 10 "held a heavy stake in Martinique. 
They did not and could not trade, that is, buy cheap to sell dear, 
any more than any other religious. But they did sell the products 
of their great mission farms in which many natives were employed, 
and this was allowed, partly to provide for the current expenses of 
the mission, partly in order to protect the simple childlike natives 
from the common plague of dishonest intermediaries. Pere An- 
toine la Valette, Superior of the Martinique mission, managed 
these transactions with no little success, and success encouraged him 
to go too far. He began to borrow money to work the large un- 
developed resources of the colony" In 1755 the English fleet 
captured his ships, his bankers at Marseilles failed, and he found 
himself bankrupt to the extent of about half a million dollars. The 
Jesuits in France repudiated responsibility for the debt. Privileges 
were pleaded in the French courts, but 'finally the Parlement of 
Paris ordered the Society to pay. This it was perfectly well able 
to dp. Even Cretineau-Joly, the Jesuit's historian, admitted that 
they were worth at least eleven and a half million dollars. Had 
they paid la Valette's debt at once they would have escaped expulsion, 
but their attitude in refusing to do so enraged all France and 

9 Catholic Encyclopedia "Mariana." 

10 Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia "The Society." 

A Calumny Against the Jesuits 235 

afforded their enemies an excellent opportunity of getting rid of 

Now the defence the Order set up was to throw all the responsi- 
bility on la Valette and to make a scapegoat of him. It was pre- 
tended that all his trading transactions were carried on without the 
knowledge of the Order. In 1762, Fr. de la Marche, S.J., con- 
cluded his investigations on behalf of the Society and his findings 
were as follows : ( I ) That la Valette had given himself up to 
trading in defiance of Canon Law and the special laws of the So- 
ciety. (2) That he had concealed his proceedings from the higher 
Superiors of the Society and even from the Fathers of Martinique. 
(3) That his acts had been denounced by Superiors not only as soon 
as they were made known but as soon as they were suspected. La 
Marche added recommendations for la Valette's recall and punish- 
ment. /!. 

This report quite obviously had in view the exculpation of the 
Society. On the face of it, it was quite impossible for la Valette 
to carry on his gigantic trading ventures without the knowledge of, 
at least, his fellow Jesuits at Martinique. How could he hide his 
works on the "large undeveloped resources of the colony" from 
those who were living with him? But we find a perfectly definite 
refutation of this effort to shield "higher Superiors," who pre- 
tended that they knew nothing of la Valette's activities prior to his 
failure. In Fr. J. H. Pollen's note on the Jesuit General Visconti, 
who died, In 1755, before la Valette's eclipse, we find the following: 
"It was during his generalate that the accusations of trading were 
first made against Pere Antoine la Valette^ who was recalled from 
Martinique in 1753 to justify his conduct. Shortly before dying 
Fr. Visconti allowed him to return to his mission." 

The report therefore of la Marche was utterly dishonest. As 
early as 1753 Superiors must have had knowledge of what was 
going on in Martinique, but most probably they "formed their 
consciences" to wink at the profitable enterprises that alike benefited 
the Society , and protected the interests of "the simple childlike 

La Valette generously shouldered the blame, and for reward was 
expelled from the Order. He died in England, a scapegoat of 
the Jesuits, perhaps worthy of the name of a martyr of charity, 

236 The Jesuit Enigma 

but his sacrifice did not save the Order from its doom. The 
Jesuits were driven from France and their enormous wealth con- 

The end in view in making a scapegoat of Mariana was to save 
the good name of the Order for sound teaching, and the end in 
view in the case of la Valette was to save the good name of the 
Order for honesty. While we may grant that in each instance the 
"end" was good, can we so easily grant that the "means" were 

We now have to consider one of those important but peculiar 
incidents of Jesuit history, little creditable to the Society, that 
would never have been heard of did not a strong and honest Jesuit, 
in this case Pere de Ravignan, insist on telling the truth. The 
incident has to do with the signing of a declaration of heresy by 
the Provincial of the Paris Province, Pere de la Croix, and one 
hundred and fifteen other Jesuits, many of whom were Superiors, 
on December 19, 1761. 

The document, given in full by Fr. Campbell, 11 read as follows: 

"We, the undersigned . . . declare: 

(1) That it is impossible to be more submissive than we are, 
or more inviolably attached to the laws, maxims and usages of 
this kingdom with regard to the royal power, which in temporal 
matters depends neither directly nor indirectly from any power on 
earth, and has God alone above it. Recognising tl^at the bonds by 
which subjects are attached to their rulers are indissoluble, we con- 
demn as pernicious and worthy of execration at all times every 
doctrine contrary to the safety of the King, not only in the works 
of some theologians of our Society (poor Mariana!), but also those 
of every other theologian whosoever he be. 

(2) We shall teach in our public and private lessons of theology 
the doctrine established by the clergy of France in the four articles 
of the Assembly of 1682, and shall teach nothing contrary to it. 
(These were the condemned Gallican Articles.) 

(3) We recognise that the Bishops of France have the right to 
exercise in our regard what according to the Canons of the Gallican 
Church belongs to them in their dealings with Regulars; and we 
renounce all the privileges to the contrary that may have been ac- 

11 Page 491. 

A Calumny Against the Jesuits 237 

corded to our Society or may be accorded in the future (poor 

(4) //, which may God forbid , it happens that we are ordered, 
by our General to do anything contrary to the 'present declaration, 
persuaded as we are that we cannot obey without sin, we shall regard 
such orders as unlawful, and absolutely null and void; which we 
could not and should not obey in virtue of the rules of obedience 
to the General such as is prescribed in the Constitutions. We there- 
fore beg that the present declaration may be placed on the official 
register of Paris, and addressed to the other Provinces of the king- 
dom, so that this same declaration signed by us, being deposited in 
the official registers of each diocese may serve as a perpetual 
memorial of our fidelity. 

ETIENNE DE LA CROIX, Provincial." 

By this declaration the French Jesuits hoped to appease the anger 

of the Parlement and to stave off the evil day of expulsion. But 
their hopes were disappointed, and their shameful surrender proved 
vain. They had, by signing this document, abandoned the doctrine 
of Rome with regard to the Gallican Church, and thrown over the 
most sacred principle of their own Institute. "In my eyes" wrote 
Pere de Ravignan, S.J., "nothing can. excuse this act of weakness. 
I deplore it. I condemn it" Then he refers to the explanation of 
his conduct which de la Croix sent to the General, which letter^ 
adds de Ravignan, is in the Jesuit archives at Rome. Cretineau- 
Joly also admits the signing of the "Declaration," but Fr. Pollen, 
who objected to Harnack's remark that "Jesuits were not historians," 
deliberately ignores the incident. Fr. Campbell feels himself bound 
to face the "unpleasant task" of contesting de Ravigrian's authority. 
His argument is, in general, that "Jesuits could not do such a thing, 
and therefore they did not do it." "It is inconceivable that those 
same men (the French Jesuits), at that very same time, should 
solemnly declare themselves rebels against the General at Rome." 12 
But had not the Spanish Jesuits done as much in Acquaviva's time 
for less serious reasons, though also at a King's behest? 

Fr. Campbell's crowning proof that de la Croix and the others 
were not traitors to the Church and the Order is that "La Croix 

" Page 495- 

238 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

was not only not excelled but was retained In his responsible fast." 
But, have we not seen, a few pages back, in the case of Mariana, 
that at times even General Congregations are unable to expel "pesti- 
lential Jesuits," and that such Jesuits are even allowed, though still 
under an expulsion order, to fulfil the "responsible post" of publish- 
ing theological works, and representing the Society at the court of 

Needless to say the Society thought it best to cover up as quickly 
and completely as possible this "wholesale, corporate and deliberate 
crime of cowardice and treason." 1S 

Jesuits have gained the reputation of delighting to skate on thin 
ice in moral matters. Again and again they have been accused of 
laxity of doctrine. Not only did they deliberately adopt the theory 
of "probabilism," but they made it the official doctrine of the Order, 
and as we have seen, when Thyrsus Gonzalez was elected General 
in 1687, and published a book against "probabilism" there was a 
veritable outburst of indignation throughout the Order. The 
theory of "probabilism" was pushed to extremes by the Jesuits, and 
was used as a means of increasing their popularity with penitents, for 
relying on "probabilism" many things become permissible which 
otherwise would have to be forbidden. One truly probable opinion 
allowing a certain course of action was considered sufficient to 
justify one in pursuing that course of action, even though all the 
opinions of all other theologians condemned and forbade it. It was 
a risky doctrine, but the "end" in view, the propagation of the faith, 
was good. And so the Jesuits went ahead and taught and 'prac- 
tised "probabilism" 

Needless to say there were honest Jesuits who protested very 
vigorously against this subservience of the means to the end. But 
they were regarded as disgruntled Jesuits, and their influence was nil. 
One of these, Fr. Camargo, S.J., sent a memorial in October, 1706, 
to Pope Clement XI: 

"How many contradictions, dangers and difficulties I and all the 
others experienced, who, in the direction of conscience, reject the 
common rule of probabilism so universally diffused throughout 
Spain, God alone knows and it sounds incredible. Morals have 
grown so lax that in practice scarcely anything is regarded as not per- 
18 Fr. Campbell's words. 

A Calumwy Against the Jesuits 239 

mitted. . . . Not only among the people, but also among con- 
fessors, preachers, and professors does the opinion prevail that we 
commit no sin, if we believe while acting that we are acting rightly, 
or are in doubt about the matter. ... I know not through what 
mysterious or at any rate, terrible decree of God it has come about 
that this moral doctrine, which is so hateful to the Apostolic See 
and so contrary to Christian morality, has found such favour among 
the Jesuits, that they still defend it, while elsewhere it is scarcely 
tolerated, and not a few Jesuits believe themselves bound to defend 
it as one of the doctrines of the Order. It is regrettable that the 
enemies of the Society can, without untruth, reproach it as being 
the only apologist for probabilism, which is the source of all laxity 
and corruption of morals, and has been condemned almost expressly 
by the Apostolic See, and even promote and spread it with zeal." 14 

The Jesuit proclivity to employ "probabilism" naturally inclined 
them to develop the art of mental reservation, more commonly 
called equivocation. As the basis of "mental reservation" we find 
once more a certain indifference to "means" provided the end in 
view be good and lawful. A man of simple, homely ethics prefers 
to blurt out the truth and take the consequences than to effect an 
escape through equivocation, whether it be allowable to equivocate 
or not. But such simple, homely ethics are not the ethics of the 
Jesuit Order. Back-door ethics, If the expression is not too strong, 
make more affleal to the highly trained Jesuit moralist. 

A quotation from the Jesuit theologian Delrio, called by Justus 
Lipsius "the miracle of his age," who professed theology in Douai, 
Liege, Louvain, Graz, and Salamanca, may be given to illustrate 
what "mental reservation" means. The quotation is from his work, 
Disquisitionum Magicarum. 15 

"It is an article of faith that a lie which deserves the name is in 
itself morally bad. Ye.t consider; it is one thing to say something 
false and another to hide something true, by making use not of a 
lie but of an equivocation. The utterance of a judge at Liege 
was both cunning and 'permissible, who said to a stiff-necked witch 
who denied all accusations, that if she spoke the truth sufficiently, 
he would as long as she lived provide from his own and public 

14 Concina, Dif esa, 2, 60. Dollinger-Reusch, I, 265-266. 
16 Colonise, 1679, p. 768. 

240 The Jesuit Enigma 

means food and drink for her every day and see to it that a new 
house was built for her, understanding by 'house' the wooden 
(scaffolding) with the bundles and straw on which she would be 
burned. . . . The judge might also say to an accused man that 
he was giving him good counsel and a confession would be of great 
advantage to him, even in saving his life. For this is most true 
if understood of eternal life, which is the true life." 16 

Perhaps an example of Jesuit mental reservation from my own 
experience will help further to elucidate this matter. 

When I entered the Jesuit Noviceship, I was not yet twenty-one 
years of age, and as my father had died intestate, I was under the 
wardship of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. I had not sought his 
permission before entering, partly because I had not long to wait 
until I should be free of his control, and partly because I knew 
that if asked he would refuse permission. Soon after entering, the 
Chancellor found out what I had done and sent an order to me 
that I should present myself before him. When the Provincial 
heard this he sent for me and spoke to me as follows: "Now you 
are to obey the summons to the Lord Chancellor, and if he asks you 
are you still in the Society, you are to say that you are not, as you 
have been dismissed. But if he does not ask you any such question, 
remember you are still in the Society for I am not dismissing you, 
save only in the eventuality I have mentioned." Thus I left the 
Noviceship, it was only for a month or so-, without knowing, whether 
or not I was dismissed, for I could not tell what awaited me in 
the future. If A or B asked me was I in the Order I was to 
answer "Yes." But if C (the Lord Chancellor) asked was I in 
the Order, I was to answer "No!" The Provincial was wise 
enough to warn me not to tell any one about his metaphysical 

Another Superior under whom I lived in the Order employed 
an exceedingly equivocal form of denial, when asked if he had 
said something. "I did not say that," he would answer, meaning 
the word "that." Or in other contexts, "I did not forbid it." 

Count von Hoensbroech relates a pathetic experience of his own in 
relation to a dying Jesuit friend: "In 1889 or 1890," he wrote, 
"the Jesuit Niemoller died at Exaeton of consumption. I fre- 

16 Quotation by Hoensbroech. 

A Calumny Against the Jesuits 241 

quently visited him and he spoke to me confidentially. Once he 
said to me in a hoarse rattling voice: 'Do you know what has been 
the hardest thing in the Order, what has caused me the severest 
spiritual tortures? The feeling of being surrounded by a system 
which is so full of reservation. But we must believe that our 
judgments are mistaken/ he added hastily, 'for the Church has 
certainly approved the Order, with its theory and practice.'" 

It is an interesting trait in the mentality of the Jesuit Order that 
it should be extremely touchy about its sincerity. Avowedly it 
professes the lawfulness of "mental reservation." It boldly de- 
fends the theory of "probabilism" with all its consequences in mat- 
ters of justice and faith-keeping. Incontinently, it refused, as we 
have seen, to make good the debts of its Jesuit representative in 
Martinique. And yet we find the Order boasts 1T of "the sincerity 
we are accustomed to observe in our dealings." 

What will perhaps appear to some as a very gross lack of sincerity 
in the Order is the profession it makes of tolerance. Jesuits en- 
courage the idea that the Order stands for genuine religious toler- 
ance, and that it is the defender of progress and civilisation. But 
when we turn to Jesuit theologians we find the most ruthless in- 
i |transigence of doctrine. Even modern Jesuit theologians such as 
Wernz, a recent General, Catherein, Hammerstein and others, teach 
he most extreme principles of intolerance. Wernz teaches that 
freedom of cult is an evil; that all religious communities of un- 
>elievers and all non-Catholic sects are absolutely illegitimate and 
lestitute of every. claim to existence; that every state which refuses 
p be Catholic is a rebel against the power to which it owes its 

Catherein teaches that the Catholic church is the only church 
which has a right to existence. A Catholic government is in duty 
bound to prevent the practice of any heretical cult as long as it 
can. Only when a Catholic government cannot prevent the exist- 
ence of non-Catholic sects without occasioning greater evil, is it 
lawful for it to accord complete freedom of worship. 

The extreme doctrines of the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX were due 
to the fact that he came to be entirely dominated by Jesuits, and all 
his severe ordinances against progress were the outcome of this 
17 Decree 74, Cogr. I. 

242 The Jesuit Enigma 

contact. The overlordship of the Church, vis-a-vis of the State; 
the subjection of the State to the Church in spiritual and mixed 
matters; the limitation of the coactive power of the State against 
clerics; the power of the Church to remove the obligations of civil 
oaths, and so forth, are all Jesuit doctrines. 

As regards the Jews, the Jesuit Hammerstein wrote: "We con- 
sider it a misfortune that in the delirium for freedom in 1848 and 
the following years complete civil rights were bestowed upon the 

The Order, in spite of its reactionary convictions, is quite well 
aware of the unpopularity which a knowledge of its intolerance 
would entail. It therefore takes special measures to prevent Jesuits 
from writing on any of those topics which would reveal the Jesuit 
doctrine of reaction. A special "censure" exists forbidding Provin- 
cials to allow any Jesuit "to publish anything on any occasion or 
in any language, which treats of the power of the Pope over Kings 
and Princes, or of Tyrannicide, without first of all referring the 
matter to Rome and receiving Rome's approbation." 

There are various practices in vogue in the Society ^ to describe 
which in detail would take us too far afield, but which provoke the 
criticism so often repeated in this chapter that the Society "carries 
out" the maxim of the "end justifying the means." There is, for 
instance, the opening of incoming letters tcfr individual Jesuits by 
Superiors. No doubt this practice is also employed in many other 
religious Orders, but that does not detract from the questionability 
of the practice. After all, outsiders do not give their consent to 
have their letters read by any save by those to whom they are ad- 
dressed. And outsiders, at least those unacquainted with the customs 
of Catholic religious communities, would expect that their letters 
should be returned to them unopened, unless delivered direct to the 

Again, there is among the Jesuits a kind of obedience demanded 
which is debasing to rational beings. That a subject be expected 
to declare what seems to him to be black, to be in reality white, is 
hard enough, even when the Church, which he believes to be in- 
fallible, demands such a submission of judgment from him, but it 
becomes positively debasing when submission of judgment of this 
kind is demanded of him by his Jesuit Superiors whom he knows 


A Calumny Against the Jesuits 243 

perfectly well to be very far from infallible. Here it would seem 
that the Order, in aiming at securing the efficiency consequent on 
the promptest and most perfect form of obedience, that of the will 
and judgment, overstepped the mark, and imposed on the subjects 
something degrading if not impossible. 

In the matter of the solemn vow of poverty, made by Professed 
Fathers, the Order has become involved in an inextricable tangle, 
from which escape is possible only by subterfuge and equivocation. 
A Professed Father, according to the Jesuit theologians, on account 
of his "solemn" vow of poverty, becomes incapable of possessing 
property, or of performing an act of proprietorship. He cannot 
even inherit property. And yet if after his profession property is 
willed to him, the Society has discovered a way of getting possession 
of the goods for the Order. How is this accomplished? In accept- 
ing a legacy is not a Professed Father at least momentarily in pos- 
session thereof? In getting rid of it and passing it on to the Society, 
is he not performing an act of proprietorship? 

In these and many other ways, it seems as if the Order was in 
practice subordinating means to ends, and it seems also as if it was 
not excessively concerned about living up to an ethical code char- 
acterised by sincerity, truthfulness, honour, and respect for the rights 
of others. Whether or not a high moral tone is possible among 
men who are protagonists of "probabilism," and "mental reserva- 
tion," is a question that may well be asked. 

An incident related by the Jesuit Polanco, Ignatius' secretary, 18 
illustrates much of what we have said in this chapter. ... 

The Jesuits had decided to convert Cambray. It was in the 
early days of the Order. Fr. Bernard Olave, S.J., armed with 
papal briefs, called on the bishop. To his surprise he was very 
badly received, and soon his ears were tingling with the worthy 
bishop's "contumelious words." But that was not all. The bishop 
instructed his officials to throw into prison any Jesuit they might 
find preaching in his diocese. He resented the fact that Jesuits pre- 
tended to give their spiritual ministrations gratis. This gratuitous 
ministration was bringing odium on other Orders and on the secular 
clergy, and did them injury. Why, wondered the bishop, should 
this new Order set itself above the rest? 

18 Cf. Van Dyke : Ignatius Loyola, p. 201, whose account I use. 

244 The Jesuit Enigma 

Again Fr. Bernard called on the bishop with testimonials, but 
the bishop paid little attention to them. "What do you want to do 
preaching here for?" he cried. "Don't you know we have plenty 
of preachers and learned ones too? Why don't you go to the Ger- 
mans, the Turks, or the Indians, or even to the English to become 
martyrs for the faith, if you are so good as you wish people to 
think? But you are only hypocrites, vagabonds, seducers, and float- 
ing scum! If you want to preach why don't you join the Fran- 
ciscans or some approved Order?" 

Fr. Bernard answered, looking at him, as we suppose a little below 
the eyes, in accordance with the rules of Modesty: "But our Order 
is approved by the Pope! See these Apostolic Letters!" 

"You have fooled the Pope by your lies," responded the Bishop. 
"I forbid you to preach in my diocese, and if you attempt to do so, 
I will order you to prison." 


The Bishop of Cambray may have been a heretic or a very bad 
man. He certainly seems to have been discourteous. And no doubt 
he should have examined respectfully the Apostolic Letters that Fr. 
Olave submitted to him. 

But neither his heresy, if he was a heretic, nor his wickedness, 
if he was wicked, nor his discourtesy, nor his indifference to papal 
briefs explain fully the incident. His reaction to the Jesuit ap- 
proach was that of hundreds of other high ecclesiastics, many of 
whom were exemplary men in every way. They found themselves 
repelled by something in the Jesuits. And one can only surmise 
from the nature of the reaction what the something was. The 
reaction was not that which simple, humble, God-fearing religious 
would have provoked, even in worldly prelates. Neither was it the 
reaction that would have met the approach of lax and corrupt 
mendicant monks. It was rather the reaction that men would excite 
if they belonged to the type that the Bishop of Cambray accused the 
Jesuits of being, men who were tainted with hypocrisy and potential 
"seducers" or deceivers of people. 



WE have seen in an early chapter how the Society of Jesus ef- 
fected an escape from the Brief of Suppression issued by the Pope 
Clement XIV, and how it strove to interpret his verdict of guilty as 
an implied "vindication." Fr. Pollen, S.J., pretended that the Brief 
was motivated solely by the Pope's desire for peace, and Fr. Smith, 
S.J., that it contained no condemnation, only "accusations and 
charges." Fr. Hughes, S.J., went a step further * by calling into 
doubt the signing of the Brief! "For this immense organisation," 
wrote Fr. Hughes, "had been almost entirely destroyed by the stroke 
of a pen the signature of Clement XIV given in pencil. They 
dispute whether he gave it at all; or at least whether he meant it. 
However that may be, the Order which had been erected on the 
principle of obedience received the word and dispersed. The rock 
on which it had set its foot became the altar of a sacrifice; and that, 
a sacrifice offered without a struggle or a remonstrance to betray 
any change in the spirit with which Ignatius 233 years before had 
vowed obedience to the Vicar of Christ." 

Inadvertently, no doubt, Fr. Hughes refers to the papacy as "the 
rock on which the Society of Jesus had set its foot"! 

The inner history of the Society is one long story of escapes 
cleverly effected: escape from the effects of its own Constitutions; 
escape from the hard doctrines of Christian morality and Catholic 
dogma by its theory of probabilism; escape from the difficulties 
entailed by honest truthfulness by its theory of mental reservation; 
escape from the dangers of allowing its subjects the "freedom of 
the children of God" by absolutism, denunciation and espionage;' 
escape from fair and sincere criticism by calumniating its critics; 
and above all, escape from toeing the line with other Orders in 
the Church, and submitting to the Canon Law, by dexterously and 
diplomatically extorting from the Holy See an immense number of 

*Cf. Educational System of the Jesuits, p. 129. 


246 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

privileges and exemptions. The art of effecting escapes of these 
and other kinds is a traditional art in the Society of Jesus. Its origin 
is to be sought for in the diplomacy of Ignatius himself, and its 
moral justification, if indeed it has any moral justification, in the 
obsessional conviction of Ignatius and his successors that the Society 
of Jesus was God's chosen instrument to work out His Will on 
earth. Ignatius was deeply convinced, as we have seen, that "his 
side was the side of God," and as a consequence he felt justified in 
outwitting all who opposed him, whether Pope or Prelate, and in 
escaping from every obstacle that stood in the path of the Society, 
even when it was placed in its way by the Holy See. Personally, 
Ignatius attributed to the devil every difficulty that the Society en- 
countered, and he apparently was of opinion that the devil's chief 
occupation was to thwart the work of the Society. He believed in 
the possibility of countering the devil's skilful moves by equally 
skilful manoeuvres. He used to say that "as the devil showed great 
skill in tempting men to perdition, equal skill ought to be shown 
in saving them." 

An interesting illustration of this angle of vision in Ignatius is 
found in his relations with Cardinal Guidiccioni who was opposed 
to the foundation of the Society of Jesus. Guidiccioni was, ac- 
cording to Polanco (Ignatius' secretary), "a good and pious man 
and very skilled in Church law, but Ignatius recognising a stratagem 
of the devil, thought that the Cardinal must be won by prayers and 
sacrifices . . . chiefly by these (though there were other reasons) 
the opposition of Cardinal Guidiccioni was changed into approval." 
The "other reasons" were the skilful use Ignatius made of influ- 
ential friends. We now turn to a further development of this 
peculiar mentality of Ignatius which goes some way towards ex- 
plaining the subsequent attitude of the Order towards the papacy, 
and the readiness with which it employed escape-mechanisms when 
confronted by some Apostolic Brief which was unpleasant to obey. 
The incident to which I allude is contained in a letter of Father 
Ribadeneira, Ignatius' special friend. It shows how Ignatius, in 
spite of his vow of loyalty and obedience to Popes, and his duty of 
regarding every expression of papal will as being the expression of 
the will of God, could nevertheless see, as it were, the devil at 
work behind the pontifical chair. "Our Father," wrote Riba- 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 247 

deneira, "advised me to be careful how I talked about what the 
Pope did, and to take into account that everything I said would 
get to the ears of His Holiness. And because he had done things 
which seemed hard to excuse y our Father said that what I had to 
do was to praise the actions of the 'previous Pope, Marcellus, and 
the good will he showed toward the Company, without saying any- 
thing at all about the present Pope" The "present Pope" in ques- 
tion was Caraffa, Paul IV, whom Ignatius had grossly insulted some 
seventeen years previously and who was determined to humble the 
already proud Order. 

We have already seen in early chapters how the Society effected 
escapes from the enactments of Sixtus V, Pius V, Paul IV, and 
later Pontiffs, and how for over a century it succeeded in defying 
Rome to change the unorthodox practices of its missionaries called 
the "Malabar and Chinese Rites." One could multiply historical 
instances of such Jesuit escapes from papal decrees. Suffice it to 
say that the ingenuity no less than the piety with which these escapes 
were effected baffles the imagination. No matter how angry the 
Pope, or how determined the College of Cardinals might be, the 
Society by a diplomatic display of obedience and humility, together 
with an explanation of the grave reasons that rendered it impossible 
to comply with the commands given, almost invariably succeeded 
in effecting an escape. It found it wise to exhibit the naked beauty 
of its modesty before revealing the strength of its mailed fist. It 
found that the sheer loveliness of virtue was most efficacious in 
turning away wrath, just as did the Irish maidens in the royal court 
of the chief Cuculain, who when this mighty warrior was seized 
with heroic rage and threatened all with destruction, found that 
the only way tof calm his anger was to display before him their 
undraped charms. 

As regards the precise technique of the Jesuit method of escape 
vis-a-vis of Popes we have the official account given in the fourth 
decree of the Sixth General Congregation. At that time the Pope, 
Paul V, insisted on a complete change of all the Assistants of the 
Jesuit General Acquaviva. This ruling was an embarrassment to 
the Order and a get-a-way was decided upon. The decree of the 
Congregation reads as follows: 

"Very Rev. Fr. General announced that it was the will of His 

248 The Jesuit Enigma 

Holiness that all the Assistants should be entirely changed. But 
although the will of His Holiness should be embraced with due 
reverence by all as children of obedience (filii obedientiae), never- 
theless since the matter was of the most grave kind, being opposed 
to our Constitutions, and since no reason for making such a change 
could be seen; and since grave inconveniences were to be feared 
as a result thereof; the Congregation decided that certain Fathers, 
chosen by Very Rev. Fr. General, as soon as it could conveniently 
be done, should with all humility lay before His Holiness the seri- 
ousness of the change and the universal feeling of the Society on 
the matter; and that they should request that, first of all, His 
Holiness should permit that by a secret ballot of the Congregation 
the mind of the whole Society about the matter should be de- 
termined; with the 'purpose nevertheless of subsequently submitting 
to the judgment of His Holiness" It would be hard to find a 
better instance of a pious effort at escape, or a better example of 
how the Order bows to "the least sign of its Superior's will." 

In the year 1645, Pope Innocent X issued a Brief, Prosfero et 
Felici StatUy in which he commanded in the clearest and most 
imperative manner, that the Society should hold a General Congre- ' 
gation every nine years; that all Assistants should be changed at 
such Congregations ; and that all Superiors of the Order, with the 
exception of Masters of Novices, should be changed every three 
years. From these rulings the Society easily escaped. Alexander 
VII, Innocent's successor, was induced to revoke the law concerning 
the triennial change of Superiors, and Benedict XIV was persuaded 
to revoke the nonennial law, "many dispensations having been 
granted in the meantime" 2 It was in fact virtually impossible 
for a Pontiff to effect any permanent change in the Jesuit Consti- 
tutions, no matter how desirable. The Order could always engineer 
an escape. 

We have now to turn our attention to another activity of the 
Jesuit "escape-mechanism." Some of the Constitutions of the 
Order proved impracticable and evasion became necessary. 

One classic example of Jesuit escape from the effects of its 
own Constitutions is that of its evasion of evangelical poverty, "the 
2 Fr. Pollen, S. J. 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 249 

firm wall of religion," that it "loves as a mother," and 'will not 
repeal but at the same time will not observe. 

At the risk of tiring by repetition it is necessary here to requote 
some of the Constitutions concerning poverty: 

"In order that Ours may advance in the Divine service with 
greater freedom and edification before the world, they should 
freely give what they have freely received; and they are forbidden 
to ask for or accept any reward or alms by which masses, con- 
fessions, lectures, sermons or any other works which the Society 
according to its Institute carries out, may seem to be recompensed, 
as though the alms or recompense were given or received for them. 
In this matter no Superior, not even the General can validly dis- 
pense." 8 The Constitution Js in no sense archaic or obsolete. It 
was solemnly reconfirmed by a General Congregation, held at Rome, 
three years ago, and is taken, as are the following Constitutions from 
the Epitome (published in 1924):* 

"In order that we may vindicate the absolute and perfect gratuity 
of our ministry, and attain it according to our Institute, with all 
our strength, absolutely all kinds of stipends must be rejected which 
m'ight seem to be a compensation for our ministry." 

The section which follows, however, provides for a subtle escape. 
Stipends may be accepted if they are offered as alms and if their 
destination is left entirely to the will of the donor, or if it is clear 
that they are not really stipends at all but a "hidden gift" (tectam 

"The Society must exercise its ministry of teaching gratis nor 
may any one accept money or any gifts from students for himself 
or for the college, on account of any services rendered." There 
follows, however, allusion to a "concession" which authorises the 
acceptance of pensions when the school is insufficiently endowed. 
But since it is against the Constitutions to accept a school or college 
unless it is sufficiently endowed (quod congruenti fundatione non 
sit dotatum), 5 one finds it hard to understand the nature or value 
of the "concession." What is clear is this, that the Society still 
pretends to give gratuitous education, and to stand by its Constitu- 
tions, but that it has escaped from all the practical consequences of 

8 Epitome 525, sec. I. *Epit. 525, sec. 2, et. seq. 

6 No. 516. 

250 The Jesuit Enigma 

evangelical education and insists on being paid the highest fees it can 
command on the market. 

How did the Society escape from its position of offering its min- 
istry free of charge and of refusing Mass stipends and so forth? 
The Professed Fathers were not only bound by personal vows of 
poverty but they were bound by vow to resist any attempt made 
to relax the poverty of the Society. They therefore could not 
appeal to the Pope for concessions. An escape had to be found and 
in due time it was found. The despised Coadjutors came to the 
rescue. They were indeed also bound by vows of personal poverty, 
but they were not bound by vow to resist relaxations of poverty, 
so they were sent to the Pope to lay before His Holiness the dis- 
tressful state of the Society, and the Pope then accorded concessions 
which allowed Jesuits to accept stipends, and so forth. 

The attitude of the Order towards this "Apostolic Dispensation" 
which in a sub-title is called a "Temporary Regulation" (Dispositio 
Temporaria), is somewhat amusing. Without it the Order could 
not survive for a week and yet it refers to it as though it were an 
insult to the Order, and an encumbrance. It dreads lest it may 
in any way "injure Our spirit and lessen Our love of poverty." 8 
It is only to be used "for the gravest reasons." The Order must 
sigh for the days when they will be delivered from this "Apostolic 
Dispensation." "In order that the Society may be freed more easily 
from the necessity of accepting stipends, great care is to be taken 
to abstain from extraordinary expenses, and even from less neces- 
sary expenses. If, moreover, through the bounty of God, some 
houses or provinces enjoy more prosperity, let them take to heart 
the charitable helping of other houses and provinces, so that the 
latter being thus assisted, may no longer be forced to use the 
Apostolic Dispensation, or at least may be enabled to use it more 
sparingly." 7 

The cutting down of "extraordinary expenses and even those 
that are less necessary" was a pious wish, calculated to give edifica- 
tion, but of no practical efficacy, as any one can see who has visited 
the magnificent establishments, or driven in the sumptuous cars 
that belong to the Order. But the "escape" from poverty was ef- 
fected, without changing the Constitutions and without hauling 
6 Epit. 927. 7 Epit. 935. 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 

down for a moment the flag of obedience and religious 'perfection. 

We shall now turn to another classic example of Jesuit escape 
from Constitutions, that of their enormous involvements in politics 
in spite of the fact that such activities were imperatively forbidden 
by their Institute. Here again we have to run the risk of repetition. 

The "Monita Generalia" 8 lays down : 

"In order that we may abstain from every appearance of evil, 
and escape from complaints and likewise as far as possible from 
false suspicions emanating therefrom, all Ours are forbidden In 
virtue of obedience and under 'penalty of ... to mix, under any 
pretext. In public or secular affairs of princes, which pertain to the 
State (politics) ; to dare or presume to undertake the care of such 
political affairs, no matter by whom they should be requested or 
asked so to do." There follows a rule forbidding "Ours" to "in- 
sinuate themselves into the friendship of princes." In the Epitome 
all these prohibitions against mixing in politics and affairs of state 
are reiterated. 9 

A General, Roothan, writing to the Courier Francaise in 
1847, reiterated the Jesuit claim that "politics are absolutely foreign 
to the Institute." "The Society," he added, "has never joined any 
'party no matter what Its name" However, his subject and friend, 
Fr. de Ravignan, S.J., had to admit (in reference to the Portu- 
guese revolution that placed John IV on the' throne) "that Religious 
of the Society took 'part In a 'political revolution that overthrew one 
throne to 'put another In Its 'place" Gustavus Adolphus was less 
convinced than Fr. Roothan that the "assertions accusing Jesuits 
of taking part in political intrigues are slanderous," for he longed 
to see "the three 'Ls* hanged, the Jesuits Lamormaini, Layman, and 
Laurentius Forer." Richelieu had experience of the astuteness and 
power of the Jesuit politicians Monod and Caussin, and it was 
with difficulty that he succeeded in having them banished from 
France. The Jesuit's lay historian, Cretineau-Joly, writing of 
Fr. Petre, S.J., the confessor and adviser of James II of England, 
states: "Petre took a position (as privy-councillor) contrary to the 
statutes of Saint Ignatius, and the rest of the Jesuits raised no ob- 
jection, or else which Is very Improbable the document Is lost" 10 

8 No. 18. Sec. 700. 

10 Hist, de la Compagnie, p. 172. 

252 The Jesuit Enigma 

The General of the time, according to another account, wrote to 
the English Provincial expressing "surprise" that Fr. Petre should 
have been allowed to accept such an office "implying interference 
with matters forbidden by the statutes of the Order," but he took 
no further action in the matter. 

One has only to refer to the names of such Jesuits as Parsons, 
Nidhard, Bermudez, Letellier, Possevin and Cotton to establish the 
fact that Jesuits engaged to a very great extent in political affairs. 
But what interests us at the moment is the pretext under which 
they did so, or to put it in another way, the mode of escape they 
employed in order to evade the obligations of their rule. 

"The complaint against the Jesuits is," writes a hostile critic, 
"that their authorities ostensibly forbid political action, yet permit 
and encourage their subjects to pursue it and even in ways. that 
are unworthy of religious ideals; that, in short, the Jesuit approaches 
the field under the white flag of political neutrality, employs 
weapons which are condemned in civilised warfare, and then denies 
that he interfered." " 

Cretineau-Joly comes to the rescue of the Order with a pretext: 
"In the intention of Loyola politics were certainly excluded from 
his institution, but in the sixteenth century all matters of the court 
and diplomacy and even the wars had a religious basis. . . . The 
Jesuits therefore were compelled to intervene in political and social 
movements." This was the pretext of Lamormaini, who used 
end his reports to his Superior with the words, "this matter also 
concerns conscience and religion" Fr. Blyssem, who worked out a 
military report on the defences of Graz, wrote in the third person 
and concluded his communication thus: "Affairs of war are to 
be discussed with warriors and not with members of the Order. 
The p-ofession of Jesuits does not extend to such discussions, on 
the contrary, it absolutely forbids them" 

According to Count von Hoensbroech, 12 the Society in its anxiety 
to have a say in the political destinies of Kingdoms, through the 
channels of Jesuit Royal Confessors, became involved with the Law 

11 A Candid History of the Jesuits, by Joseph McCabe, p. 117. Putnam, 
12 Vol. II., p. 173 et seq. 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 253 

of Confessional Secrecy. Two Jesuit Generals, Nickel and Vitel- 
leschi, issued the following instruction to Provincials: 

"When Sovereigns require a Jesuit's opinion on any subject, the 
Jesuit in question is to report the matter to his Superior, who is to 
lay it before several Jesuits for discussion. The resolution formed 
after this consultation is supplied to the Jesuit who has been con- 
sulted by the Sovereign." 

Now it usually happened that the Jesuit whom a Sovereign con- 
sulted was his confessor, and it was, needless to say, somewhat of a 
strain on the latter's conscience to lay before Jesuit Superiors for 
discussion what his penitent had imparted to him. Hence we need 
not be surprised at the letter which follows, written by Fr. Caussin, 
S.J., the confessor of Louis XIII of France, to the General Vitel- 
leschk "I am reproached for not seeking advice of my Superiors on 
the .matters I discuss with the King. . . . But I know from 
Thomas (Aquinas) that, according to natural, human, and divine 
right, matters of conscience are to be kept secret. . . . What law 
or what Constitution of the Society is there that bids the Father 
Confessor report to his Superiors on affairs of his penitents? . . . 
Is the King's conscience to be revealed to as many persons as there 
are consultors in our houses?" 

Fr. Caussin no doubt misunderstood the import of the instruc- 
tions he received, for there cannot have been any intention on the 
part of the Generals, Nickel and Vitelleschi, to induce Royal Con- 
fessors to violate confessional secrecy. But there was very plainly a 
desire on their part to have a hand, as far as was possible, in guiding 
the political movements of the time through the Royal Confessors. 

From its earliest years the Society fortified itself against the 
vicissitudes of fortune, and secured for itself good lines of retreat 
from minor perils, by inducing friendly Popes to confer privileges 
upon it. In the course of time these privileges grew to be so numer- 
ous and so important that they had to be kept secret lest they should 
be a cause of scandal. All the privileges that other Orders enjoyed 
were bestowed in bulk on the Society and to these were added an 
immense number of special privileges. Jesuit colleges were given 
the power of conferring degrees; Jesuits were given the most 
extraordinary and abundant "faculties" for hearing confessions;' 
they could defy civil authority; override the rulings of bishops and 

254 The Jesuit Enigma 

archbishops; build houses within the canonical limits of other re= 
ligious houses; practise medicine; refuse restitution even when in 
the wrong; and "as often as there was doubt in the understanding 
of the privileges of the Society, doctors of law and judges were 
always bound to interpret them in favour of the Society" 18 'Wo 
letters or Apostolic 'privileges granted to individuals y colleges or 
chapters, or universities or convents were to 'prejudice those granted 
to the Society" 14 It is added that those who oppose or stand in the 
way of Jesuit privileges are excommunicated and, if clerics, are 
to be deprived of ecclesiastical dignities. 

It is quite impossible, in a few sentences, to give an adequate 
idea of the scope of these privileges. They were amply sufficient 
to afford the Order a way of escape from even the most unusual 
situations that might arise in the complexity of church life. But 
it was not sufficient for the Order to be protected against outsiders. 
It had also to be protected against possible dangers from within. 
Individual Jesuits might, for instance, avail themselves of the 
liberality accorded by the papal Bull Cruciata, and confess their 
sins outside the Order. Against this danger the Order guarded it- 
self by securing front Po$e Urban VIII the privilege whereby 
Jesuits were deprived of the advantages accorded them through this 
Bull! The crowning glory of Jesuit privileges has yet to follow. 
It was a privilege accorded to the Society whereby the subjects of 
the Society were deprived of the very meanest of rights, that of 
making appeals to their ecclesiastical authorities against the Society. 

It must be remembered that the Society was already privileged 
to proceed against its own subjects, invoking, if necessary, the aid 
of the civil arm. It could lawfully punish and incarcerate delin- 
quent Jesuits. It could pursue fugitive Jesuits and remove them 
by force even from the Roman Curia. It could dismiss them, if it 
so willed, without any form of trial. Added to this the Society 
secured a privilege, which rendered it unlawful for any Jesuit to 
appeal against the Institute or the ordinances, punishments, or orders 
of General Congregations or of other Superiors to any one whatso- 
ever outside the Order, even to the Pope himself or the Apostolic 
See, without the special permission of the Pope. 

No matter how unjustly a Jesuit might be treated by his Superiors 

18 Compendium Privil., sec. 4. ^Ibid., sec. 8. 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 255 

he dare not appeal to an Archbishop, or Papal Legate, or even, as 
we have seen, to the Pope himself. Judges of all kinds were for- 
bidden under pain of excommunication to accept or listen to such 
appellations. Any steps taken by them in such a direction were 
tpo facto void and null (irritum et inane). In fact, it is quite 
within the bounds of possibility that Jesuits, incarcerated by their 
Superiors, have rotted away unheard of, for they were unable to 
do anything for themselves by way of appeal, and others could not 
stretch out a hand to help them for fear of incurring excommunica- 
tion for "standing in the way of Jesuit privileges." 

From time to time sturdy bishops, such, for instance, as the Ven. 
Bishop Palafox have stood out against the privileges of the Order 
and appealed to the Pope against them. Bishop Palafox was fortu- 
nate in having a Pope of the temper of Innocent X to appeal to, 
and he won his appeal on every head. 11 ? 

Innocent published the findings of the Congregation in whose 
hands he placed the dispute for examination. "The Congregation 
decided that the said religious (the Jesuits) could by no means 
hear the confessions of secular folk in Los Angeles without the 
approbation of the bishop of the diocese (Palafox) ; nor could they 
preach the word of God even in the churches of their Order without 
first of all seeking his blessing; nor could they preach in other 
churches without his permission; nor, should he prohibit it, could 
they preach in the churches of their Order. .... Furthermore, 
they could be coerced and punished with the censures of the church 
by the bishop, acting as Apostolic delegate. ... Nor was it law- 
ful for them, even on the grounds of manifest injuries and vio- 
lence, to select 'Conservatores,' and through these to fulminate 
excommunications against the Bishop and his Vicar-general" (as 
they had done in the case of Bishop Palafox) . 

This humiliating decree was vigorously contested by the Jesuits 
even in the teeth of papal anger, for they saw in it the undermining 
of many of their cherished privileges. But after a re-examination 
they were still further humiliated. Innocent X published another 
Brief, confirming the previous one, and sarcastically alluding to "the 
religious of the aforesaid Order who had put forward the pretext 
(pratendentes) that our previous letters were unjustified." 

16 Cf. Brief Cum sicut accepinvus, 1653. 

z 5 6 The Jesuit Enigma 

There is a curious expression in use in the Society j the expression 
"to form one's conscience." In a case of doubt about the advis- 
ability or the legitimacy of a certain course of action one is taught 
to pray over the matter and having discussed it as best one can in 
one's reason, "to form one's conscience." This means, in p-actice, 
to find a pious pretext for doing what one desires to do, a pre- 
text that supplies a label of legitimacy. If, for instance, a Jesuit 
is uncertain whether or not it is lawful for him to undertake a 
certain work suggested to him by Externs, he "forms his conscience" 
and agrees to do it, or refuses it. He may find as an appropriate 
label "edification" or "charity" or "the lesser of two evils." Hav- 
ing subsumed the matter under one of these heads, he is satisfied in 
his conscience that he is justified in going ahead. In the case, for 
instance, of Ignatius outwitting Guidiccioni, Ignatius would have 
been said to have "formed his conscience" as to the legitimacy of 
opposing Guidiccioni on the pretext that the devil was instigating 

One can easily understand how this Jesuit practice results in the 
confusing of motives with pretexts, and in engendering a certain 
insincerity in conduct. In asking a permission from a Superior the 
habit of putting forward a high-sounding pretext instead of the true 
motive obtains. Suppose a Jesuit is living in a city where his 
parents reside, and that he wishes very much to see them. Before 
doing so he requires the permission of his Superior, but what plea 
is he to put forward? His real motive is naturally the pleasure he 
will give his parents and the pleasure it will be for him. But were 
he to put such a motive before his Superior he would be refused 
permission to make the visit. He is therefore forced into searching 
for a pretext that will appeal to his Superior. He may be able to 
"form his conscience" to say that his mother or father is unwell. 
If so the permission will be given. Or he may "find a reason" such 
as the need of maintaining a good influence over his father who 
may happen to be slack about his religious duties. Perhaps he can 
urge the plea that his father, if encouraged to do so, would make a 
generous benefaction to a Jesuit house or college. Such pretexts, 
though not the true motives, will obtain the required permission. 
The true motives would be turned down. If the Superior be sub- 
sequently questioned by a higher Superior as to why he allowed Fr. 


The Jesuit Way of Escape 257 

X. to visit his parents, he can give a "constitutional reason" for 
his conduct, for instance, "Fr. X. was allowed to make the visit 
because his parent was ill." Then he knows that his higher Superior 
cannot report him to Rome. This kind of mentality is at the root 
of the art of "escape." 

That Jesuits are not taught to face facts honestly and fairly is 
quite clear to one who knows the training of the Society. An illus- 
tration will make this clear. There is a rule which imposes on 
Jesuits who are engaged in studies an interruption of their work, for 
health's sake, after every two hours. This is a wise and considerate 
rule, and is quite as obligatory as any other rule. Yet because 
it is a rule which favours the subject Superiors allow it to be inter- 
preted in a self-destructive way. My Master of Novices used to 
relate with obvious approval how a certain edifying young Jesuit 
(all absorbed in his studies for the ' Glory of God) used obey 
this rule by getting up from his chair at the two hours' limit and 
twisting his chair around! Then he used settle down to another 
two hours of work. Such an exposition of the "substantial fulfil- 
ment" of a rule was by no means unique. It seemed to me at the 
time to contain an element of dishonesty, to be an obvious shirking 
of duty. 

Fr. George Tyrrell 16 makes a severe indictment against the gov- 
ernment of the Order on the grounds that it functions through a 
system of make-belief, and builds up its theory of obedience on 
innumerable assumptions. He emphasises the fact that the Society 
escapes from many difficulties by pretending that the voice of 
Superiors is the "Voice of God." 

"Consonant with the necessity of maintaining a blind faith in 
the voice of Superiors as being the voice of God, is the tendency in 
every way to exalt the conception of the Order as a Divine Institu- 
tion, an Ecclesia in Ecclesia y something unique and apart from all 
other Orders, the special protege of the Blessed Virgin and the 
Heavenly Powers; the tendency to encourage and reward the most 
fulsome flattery, and adulation in its members and friends; to re- 
press rigorously as sheer disloyalty even the best meant criticism 
suggestive of possible failures and limitations; the tendency to exalt 
official at the expense of personal qualifications j to distrust and 

16 In his Letter to the General. 

258 The Jesuit Enigma 

undermine the ascendency of mind and character; to give office to 
grateful and manageable mediocrity, rather than to possibly inde- 
pendently minded competence; the tendency (justified by Plato in 
his ideal republican tyranny), to discourage friendship and mutual 
confidence among subjects and to attach them to the central author- 
ity, not as an adhesive mass but as separate units; the tendency to 
assume that subjects possess no other inward qualification or virtue 
than that of passive obedience and therefore to trust to external 
conditions rather than to virtue for their good behaviour; to believe 
in coercive legislation, espionage, protection, rather than in spiritual 
spontaneity. Consonant also is that system already alluded to of 
artificially forced vocations which gives the Society children to work 
upon instead of grown men of formed character and personality 
such as Ignatius wished to gather round him." 

The ingenuity of the Society has been taxed to the full in finding 
escapes from criticism. As we have pointed out elsewhere, it de- 
cided on a very summary method of dealing with internal critics, 
namely, excommunication, suspension, degradation from office and, 
if necessary, expulsion. But naturally these methods were inap- 
plicable or inadequate in the case of outside critics, although it se- 
cured an Apostolic condemnation for all who should dare to impugn 
its Constitution. 

The Society has had therefore to have recourse to other methods 
of defence against enemies without its ranks. It imputes evil mo- 
tives, denies competence and sincerity, rakes up scandals, and makes 
free use of the most violent forms of polemics. It believes in the 
method of defence called by Newman "poisoning the wells," and 
aims at so discrediting its critics that no one will consider seriously 
what they write. Even so cultured and estimable a Jesuit as the 
late Fr. J. H. Pollen, when writing against critics of his Order, 17 
indulges in these arts, though somewhat more mildly than other 
Jesuit warriors, some of whom have had to be silenced by the Pope, 
so virulent did their eloquent defence of the Society become. 

Fr. Pollen opens his defence of the Society by quoting from St. 
Ambrose as follows: "He in truth is impugned in vain who is ac- 
cused of impiety by the impious and faithless, though he is a teacher 
of the faith." To this suggestive quotation he adds "the personal 

17 Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia. 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 259 

equation of the accuser is a correction of great moment." Relying 
on the principles implicit in these statements he is in a position to 
sweep aside all the criticism emanating from heretics, infidels, and 
rationalists of all classes. 

One class of critics, however, and they were precisely the class 
most competent to write about the Order, had to be unequivocally 
eliminated. As this class included men who were neither heretics 
nor infidels nor rationalists, Fr. Pollen had to impute bitterness 
and passion to them; he calls them "deserters from the ranks" 
"The most embittered and the most untrustworthy enemies of the 
Society," writes Fr. Pollen "(they are fortunately not very numer- 
ous), have ever been deserters from its own ranks." 

Fr. Tyrrell, while still a Professed Father of the Society, had 
voiced a somewhat milder view of so-called desertion: "Those who 
leave {the Society's} ranks" he wrote, "even at their own request, 
are said to be ' : dismissed* ; and it is insinuated by eloquent and 
charitable head-shakings and 'pursing up of sealed lips or even whis- 
pered to those who will spread it abroad, that they 'went out from 
among us because they were not of us, t because they were ill at 
ease in such sacred surroundings' " 

There is no doubt but that some books written by ex- Jesuits, such, 
for instance, as Fourteen Years a Jesuit, by Count von Hoens- 
broech, have been written with no small show of bitterness. But 
in spite of the display of bitterness, Hoensbroech's volumes are re- 
plete with learning, and are of exceptional value as criticisms of the 
Order. Besides, whatever passion he betrayed was easily surpassed 
by the passion shown in the attacks that Jesuits subsequently made 
on him. 

There is an interesting instance of the manner in which Jesuits 
leave loopholes when giving advice, recorded by Polanco, Ignatius' 
secretary. It is so characteristic of the mentality and practice of 
the Society that it is worth recording. Van Dyke 18 gives the story 
in full. 

The custom of using cosmetics was widely in vogue in the King- 
dom of Naples, and Jesuit preachers had begun to denounce it vigor- 
ously, when Ignatius' advice was sought for. His reply was as 

18 Ignatius Loyola, p. 188. 

260 The Jesuit TLnigma 

"So far as the use of cosmetics by Neapolitan women is con- 
cerned: if they do it as an aid to some evil action, it is a mortal sin 
and they cannot have absolution. If they do it because their hus- 
bands want them to, they may be given absolution. But it is good 
to persuade them to persuade their husbands not to make them use 
that vanity. If they do it out of vanity and to appear beautiful, 
although they have no other intention of mortal sin, using cosmetics 
is not a mortal sin. Nevertheless it is a great imperfection and not 
without sin; although not mortal sin. And although it can be 
absolved it seems better for the Confessors of our Company (which 
desires the perfection of everybody) to act as follows: If the first 
exhortation does not stop it to say to these women plainly, that if 
they wish to remain in such an imperfect religious attitude, they 
do not wish to have anything more to do with them and that they 
may go where they will elsewhere to make their confession. Never- 
theless, either because it is a small matter, or for any other reason, 
discretion may be used in some special cases, and this ought not to be 
made so strict a rule as not to leave any room for exceptions" 

This direction of Ignatius, typical of Jesuit moral direction, 
leaves as one can see a considerable number of loopholes and ways 
of escape. Every rich or interesting penitent could be regarded as a 
"special case" in which "discretion was to be used," and the "dear 
child" might be allowed to continue to indulge her fancies in cos- 

In the day-to-day life among the rank and file of the Order the 
individual Jesuit is constantly exercising his ingenuity in escaping 
from being "caught" by Superiors over breaches of rule of which 
he is guilty. Those who are expert at covering up their tracks are 
much envied by the rest. Some are marvellously adept at so doing. 
I knew one young Jesuit, who belonged to a Province where smoking 
was strictly forbidden, except for those who were licensed to smoke 
by the Provincial, and who was never caught smoking, although 
later it was discovered by the doctor that he was suffering from a 
smoker's heart! How he procured his supplies of tobacco, and in- 
dulged his craving, the Superiors never found out. 

Another Jesuit, whom I knew, was so adept at effecting escapes 
that he acquired the cognomen "De Wet," from the famous Boer 

The Jesuit Way of Escape 261 

General who succeeded for so long a period in escaping the British 
forces that dogged his steps in South Africa. The Jesuit "De 
Wet" had an unbroken record of escapes, but one day, when he 
was returning to his house late for a spiritual duty, he was seen 
by his Superior. It looked as if no escape from the damning situa- 
tion was possible. But his ingenuity did not fail him. Immediately 
he reached his room he threw himself on his bed and sent another 
Jesuit to the Superior to say that he was ^ery unwell, and to beg 
for a spoonful of Brandy to cure his colic ! 

A public and rather spectacular instance of Jesuit escape inge- 
nuity occurred some years ago at a meeting of the old Royal Uni- 
versity in Dublin. Several Jesuits held lucrative professorships in 
this University much to the dissatisfaction of lay teachers. Some 
of the Jesuit professors were in many respects unfitted for their 
posts, but through the influence of powerful Catholic friends they 
were able to retain them. At the University Convocations hints 
had been dropped from time to time but no direct anti-Jesuit reso- 
lution had been moved. On the occasion to which I allude, how- 
ever, a much respected Catholic professor introduced a resolution 
to the effect that University Chairs should not be given to members 
of a foreign teaching Order. Every one knew that the motion was 
directed against the Jesuits. Hardly, however, had this professor 
introduced his motion when a well-known Jesuit jumped to his 
feet and seconded it! He made a speech supporting very strongly 
the 'Principle underlying the motion^ and emphasising the desira- 
bility of a national University being staffed by native talent. His 
action, needless to say, created such a ridiculous situation that the 
discussion of the motion was turned into vocal confusion, and the 
matter was dropped. The irony of the situation was all the greater 
for the fact that the Jesuit in question was an Englishman, only a 
few years resident in Ireland. He was adept, however, in the 
Society's art of escape. 



WHO can tell whether Clement XIV or George Tyrrell dealt 
the deadlier blow to the Society of Jesus? Clement, in 1773, 
acted the role of executioner, but the Society was hydra-headed and 
the Pope failed to lop off all its heads. Tyrrell, in 1904, acted the 
role of prophet, and told the world that the Society was dying, 
that the cancer of reaction was eating away its vitality. Clement 
had drawn his sword to save the peace of Christendom, and the 
purity of Christian doctrine, for he saw in the Jesuit an incorrigible 
mischief-maker and a prevaricator of truth, whom death alone 
could quieten. Tyrrell, the Apostate, raised his anguished voice in 
protest against the Jesuit, as the blind and ruthless enemy of prog- 
ress, the Pharisee who was making faith odious and impossible. 

Neither Clement nor Tyrrell regarded Jesuits as belonging to 
the fold of Christ. Rather did they look upon them as wolves in 
sheep's clothing; Clement, because the rest of the fold distrusted 
them and called for their expulsion; Tyrrell, because he saw them 
robbing the other sheep of their liberty and freedom. 

Lorenzo Ganganelli, afterwards Clement XIV, had been edu- 
cated by the Jesuits, and had become a Franciscan monk. As 
Definator of his Order (1741), and Consultor of the Holy Office, 
he had gained experience of the intrigues that surrounded the Chair 
of Peter. In 1759 he had been raised to the cardinalate by 
Clement XIII, at the instance of the Jesuit General, Ricci, and 
ten years later he was elected to the papacy by forty-six votes out of 
forty-seven, the missing vote being his own, which he had given 
to Cardinal Rezzonico. 

The election which placed Ganganelli on the Papal Chair was 
preceded by much intrigue. The cardinals were divided into 
"Zelanti," who favoured the Jesuits, and "Court Cardinals," who 
favoured the Bourbon interests and who sought the suppression of 

the Order. The former were in a majority, but were anxious 


A Pope and an Apostate 263 

nevertheless to avoid irritating the Bourbons by electing an ex- 
tremist. Both sides agreed to the election of Ganganelli, and it is 
doubtful if, under the circumstances, a fairer choice could have 
been made. 

Clement XIV was a man of humble origin, but of unquestion- 
able probity and virtue. He was clear-minded, liberal, and con- 
ciliating. "Honour and Conscience" was his watchword, and he 
was not slow in giving proof of his courage and resolution. He was 
regarded as friendly to the Jesuits whom he knew very intimately, 
but he was above all concerned with the good of the Church and 
the interests of his flock. The Jesuits, of course, describe him as 
weak, irresolute and lacking in foresight and diplomatic skill, 
although they admit that he was not personally antagonistic to them. 
"No personal animosity guided his action," writes Fr. Pollen, S.J. 
"The Jesuits themselves in agreement with all serious historians 
attribute the suppression to Clement's weakness of character, un- 
skilled diplomacy, and that kind of goodness of heart which is more 
bent on doing what is pleasing than what is right." 

Without delay, following the election, the Jesuits made every 
effort to "capture" Clement, but to their mortification they found 
that he had taken steps to protect himself against their intrigues. 
He refused to see Ricci, and dismissed from his entourage certain 
diplomatic agents of the Society. . "You ask me," wrote Fr. Garnier, 
S.J., a little later, "why the Jesuits offer no defence; they can do 
nothing here (at Rome). All approaches, direct and indirect, are 
completely closed; walled up with double walls. Not the most in- 
significant memorandum can find its way in. There is no one who 
would undertake to hand it in." Clement closed some Jesuit col- 
leges, among them the famous Roman College. The Society be- 
came more and more alarmed. They knew that Bourbon pressure 
was being brought to bear on the Pope and that hundreds of bishops, 
whom in the days of their glory and arrogance they had humiliated, 
were now beseeching Rome for their suppression. But they could 
do nothing, for their fair-weather friends were deserting them. 
"Nowhere did the Jesuits offer any resistance," writes Pollen, 
pathetically, "for they knew that their efforts were futile." 

In November, 1772, Clement set about the composition of his 
Brief for the suppression of the Society. He spent seven months on 

264 The Jesuit Enigma 

it, praying, meditating, studying and examining charges against the 
Society, and condemnations by previous Popes, as well as whatever 
was issued by previous Popes in its favour. He says himself in the 
Brief that "he did not S'pare himself in making every kind of en- 
quiry so that he might fully and thoroughly know and understand 
everything pertaining to the origin y growth y and present state of the 
Jesuit Order." He refers also to the long period needed for the 
purpose of "a most exact examination," and tells how he offered 
"most earnest prayers, mourning and grieving over what was before 
him," and how "he entreated the faithful to come to his aid by their 
prayers and good works." 

The Brief, which is called from its first words, Dominus ac 
Redemftor, was signed on June 8, 1773, but was not promulgated 
until August 1 6. It is a clear, decisive, and terrible indictment 
of the Society of Jesus. It points an unerring finger to the sources 
of evil in the Constitutions. It sums up moderately and mercifully 
the various and grave charges that had been proven against the 
Order, and enumerates the Popes who had tried without success to 
reform it. It states categorically that "the Order can no longer 
p-oduce the fruit for which it was instituted" And, to this declara- 
tion of its sterility, it adds that "as long as this Order exists it is im- 
possible for the Church to enjoy free and solid peace." In this 
manner the strange spiritual creation of Spanish ascetics was pro- 
nounced by Christ's vicar to be an encumbrance, A disfigurement, 
that obscured the vision of peace. So he "suppressed and abolished 
it for ever," "annulling and abrogating all and each of its offices, 
functions, and administrations." 

Thus a saintly Pope, fair-minded, sincere, elected by a unanimous 
vote of the Cardinals of Holy Church, possessed of all the authority 
and infallibility of Peter, personally friendly to the Jesuits, after 
four years of prayer and careful consideration, and not without 
precedent; for he was doing what Innocent XI had begun to do, 
and what Innocent XIII had threatened; exercising the sacred 
powers of his Office as supreme head of the Church, deliberately 
decreed the utter, complete, and perpetual extinction of the Society 
of Jesus, as a corrupt, insubordinate, and worthless regiment of his 

"He did not mean to do what he did," writes Fr. T. Hughes, 


A Pope and an Apostate 26$ 

S.J. "He only suppressed the Order for the sake of peace and as 
a sop to the Bourbons," cries Fr. Pollen, S.J. "The condemnation 
is not pronounced in the straightforward language of direct state- 
ment, but is merely insinuated," declared the learned Fr. Sydney 
Smith, S.J. "There is not one word about the decadence of the 
Society in its morality or theology," adds Fr. T. J. Campbell, S.J. 
One Jesuit alone, as far as I know, had the honesty to face the 
facts. "I love my Order as much as any man," wrote Fr. Cordara, 
S.J., in his Memoirs, "yet had I been in the Pope's place I should 
probably have acted as he did." 

In the prooemium of the Brief Dominus ac Redemptor, 
Clement states that Christ "left as a legacy to the Apostles the 
ministry of reconciliation" and presently adds, having in mind the 
discord that the Jesuit Order had stirred up in every part of the 
world, "Christ is not a God of dissension but of peace and love," 
therefore "all begotten of Christ should be solicitous of preserving 
unity of spirit in the bonds of peace." 

The prooemium goes on to state that Religious Orders were wel- 
comed by the Church as harbingers of good works and virtue, but 
"when things come to such a pass that from some particular Order 
abundant fruit is not forthcoming or that such an Order is rather a 
source of evil and a disturbance to the tranquillity of the people 
than of good," it has to be reformed or suppressed. 

Clement next proceeds to adduce many examples of suppression 
of Orders, and very significantly he brings up as illustrations Orders 
that had been confirmed and privileged by many Popes, and Orders 
that had been suppressed on account of internal as well as external 
dissensions. The Fratres Humiliati t for instance, though sol- 
emnly approved and confirmed by four Popes had been suppressed 
by Pope Saint Pius V on account of disobedience to papal decrees, 
domestic discords, and dissensions with externs. The Fratres Con- 
ventuales Reformat* were suppressed by Pope Urban VIII on ac- 
count of dissensions with their sister Order and because they were 
not producing "abundant fruit," although this Order had been 
solemnly approved by Sixtus V. Such cases afforded as it were 
precedents for his contemplated suppression of the Jesuits. 

Clement, anticipating that the Jesuits would complain that they 

266 The Jesuit Enigma 

had been suppressed without trial, goes on to point out that in the 
cases he adduces, "the Holy See had taken action out of the full 
plenitude of its power, as Vicar of Christ, without employing 
judicial trial." And later on in the Brief, when laying down 
arrangements for the dispersal of Jesuits, and limiting to one year 
delayal of dispersion, he adds "just as in the Society they would be 
dismissed without any other reason than because the prudence of the 
Superior so judges and that without any previous citation or juridical 
proof." As the Society had treated its own subjects in the days of 
its glory, expelling them without judicial trial if. it thought well to 
do so, he, the Vicar of Christ, was now acting towards the Society 

In referring to the foundation of the Society, and the very great 
privileges accorded it by Paul III, Clement pointedly dwells on the 
extraordinary privilege of exemption from episcopal authority. 
"All who pertained to the Order, and all its possessions were 
exempted from all superiority, jurisdiction and correction of all 
bishops of whatever standing." Furthermore Paul III had taken 
the Jesuits "under his own protection and that of the Holy See." 
Other Popes added to these privileges many others, some of which 
were of a kind to help to extricate the Society from the difficulties 
that were springing up within its ranks and the difficulties its con- 
duct had entailed. "The tenor and even the terms of these Apos- 
tolic Constitutions show that the Society from its earliest days saw 
spring up within it various germs of discord and jealousies, which 
tore its members asunder, led them to rise against other religious 
Orders, and against the secular clergy, the academies, universities, 
colleges, public schools, nay, even against the monarchs who had 
welcomed them into their states." 

What were the sources of these dissensions and troubles? 
Clement answers this question fully, and attributes the evil to the 
peculiar vow system of the Society; to the arbitrary powers of dis- 
missal that the Society enjoyed; "to the absolute 'power that the Jesuit 
General laid claim to and to other things relating to the government 
of the Order" which, besides certain points of doctrine, and inva- 
sions of episcopal rights were "in conflict with the decisions of the 
Council of Trent and of Pope Pius V." As regards the "absolu- 
tism of the Jesuit General" (potestas absoluta quam prsepositus 

A Pope and an Apostate 267 

generalis ejusdem Societatis sibi vindicabat), Clement was antici- 
pating the central point of TyrVell's criticism of the Order. 

Clement next goes on to deal with charges made against the 
Jesuits. "There is scarcely any kind of grave accusation that has 
not been brought against this Society." "Numberless complaints 
backed by the authority of Kings and Rulers have been urged 
against these Religious at the tribunals of Paul IV, Pius V, and 
Sixtus V. Thus, Philip II, King of Spain, laid before Sixtus V 
not only the urgent and grave personal reasons which prompted his 
action in this matter, but also the protest of the Spanish Inquisition 
against the excessive privileges of the Society. His Majesty also com- 
plained of the Society's form of government, and of points in the 
Institute which were disputed by some of the members of the 
Society, who were conspicuous for their knowledge and piety, and 
he asked the Sovereign Pontiff to name a commission for an Apos- 
tolic Visitation of the Society. As the zealous demands of Philip 
seemed to be based on justice and equity, Sixtus V appointed as 
Visitor Apostolic a bishop generally recognised for his prudence, 
virtue and intellectual gifts . . . the premature death of Sixtus 
prevented any action." "His most wise counsel came to nothing and 
had no effect." Clement does not tell of the personal attitude of 
Sixtus towards the Society or of his insistence on a change of name. 
"Who are these men," Sixtus used to say, "whom we must not name 
without bowing our heads?" Neither does he refer to the under- 
hand intrigues by means of which Acquaviva, the Jesuit General, 
thwarted his proceedings against the Order. But he goes on 
to refer, with apparent dismay, to the next turn that things took. 
Gregory XIV (1591) outdid all previous Pontiffs in loading the 
Society with praises and privileges. In particular, and this evidently 
shocked Clement, "he confirmed and ratified" Jesuit privileges con- 
cerning the dismissal of their members, so that "without juridical 
procedure, that is to say without having taken any previous infor- 
mation, without drawing up any indictment, without observing any 
legal process, or allowing any delay, even the most essential, but 
solely on the inspection of the truth of the fact, and without regard 
to the fault or whether it or the attendant circumstances sufficiently 
justified the expulsion of the person involved," the Society could dis- 
miss members from its ranks. 

268 The Jesuit Enigma 

To confer such absolute powers was apparently going "beyond 
the beyonds," but Gregory had gone still further. "He imposed 
over and above the most rigorous silence (altissimum insuper silen- 
tium imposuit), and forbade under pain of excommunication, ipso 
facto, any direct or indirect attack on the Institute, constitutions, or 
decrees of the Society, or any attempt to have any change made in 
them." No doubt Clement knew perfectly well that these unheard- 
of privileges had been wrung from Gregory by the Jesuits them- 

No good followed from these measures of Gregory. Internal 
and external dissensions continued, and even grew worse. "Trou- 
blesome quarrels over the doctrine of the Society filled almost the 
whole world" (universum fere orbem pervaserunt molestasque con- 
tentiones de Societatis doctrina). Many maintained that the Jesuit 
doctrine was opposed to the orthodox faith and sound morality. 
Furthermore, "it was everywhere reproached, with too much 
avidity and eagerness for earthly goods and this complaint caused 
the Holy See much 'pain and exasperated many rulers of nations 
against the Society " Clement next tells how Paul V, in order to 
reform the Society and to put an end to its money-seeking and inter- 
ference in politics, insisted that the Fifth General Congregation 
should incorporate a decree of reform to be submitted to him and 
confirmed by his authority. 

The decree was passed imposing in stern terms reforms as regards 
Jesuits meddling in secular and political affairs, abstention from 
quarrelling and "false suspicions," and refers to "the guilt, ambi- 
tion, and indiscreet zeal of some members." Here, let me note a 
remark of Fr. Pollen, S.J. 1 "The Society never became 'relaxed, 1 
or needed a 'reform' in the technical sense in which these terms are 
applied to religious Orders." 

We now come to the crucial section, 2 of the Brief, in which a 
summary of grave abuses and of condemnations by Roman Pon- 
tiffs is made; not at all a mere "list of charges" as Jesuits pretend, ' 
or "a mere insinuation of condemnation by means of dexterous 
phrases" (Fr. Sydney Smith, S.J.), but a downright, straightfor- 
ward account of the vain efforts of Christ's Vicars to reduce to sub- 
mission a proud, recalcitrant Order. 
i Catholic Encyclopedia "Society." 2 No. 22. 

A Pope and an Apostate 269 

"We have observed with bitterest grief that these remedies (of 
Paul V, Sixtus V, etc.) and others applied afterwards had neither 
efficacy nor strength enough to put an end to the troubles, the charges 
and the complaints formed against the Society, and that our prede- 
cessors, Urban VII, Clement IX, X, XI, and XII, Alexander VII 
and VIII, Innocent X, XI, XII, and XIII, and Benedict XIV 
vainly endeavoured to restore to the Church the desired tranquillity 
by means of various enactments, either relating to secular affairs 
with which the Society ought not to concern itself on missions or 
elsewhere ; or relating to grave dissensions and quarrels harshly pro- 
voked by its members, not without the risk of loss of souls and to 
the great scandal of the nations, against the bishops, the religious 
Orders, and about places consecrated to piety, and also with com- 
munities of every kind in Europe, Asia, and America. The same 
was true with regard, to the practice and Interpretation of certain 
pagan ceremonies tolerated and. permitted In various places, apart 
from those which are approved by the Universal Church. Then y 
tooy there was the use and interpretation of maxims which the Holy 
See deemed to be scandalous and evidently harmful to morality. 
Finally, there were other things of great moment and absolutely 
necessary to preserve the dogmas of the Christian Religion in its 
purity and integrity. . . ." Clement goes on to relate the measures 
of some of the Pontiffs who took steps against the Society. Inno- 
cent XI had decreed the extinction of the Order by forbidding it to 
receive any more novices $ he willed that it should die out. Inno- 
cent XIII, later on, threatened to do the same. Benedict XIV, like 
Sixtus V, had given the supreme proof of his distrust and suspicion 
by ordering a visitation of Jesuit houses and colleges in Portugal 
and Algarve. But the measures of these and the other nine Pon- 
tiffs to chasten the Society failed. 

Clement spared, as much as he could, the feelings of the Jesuits by 
omitting such instances of Jesuit scandals as the Palafox affair. 
And he was most merciful in the way he alluded to the Jesuit 
contumacy regarding the Malabar and Chinese rites, and the 
Jesuit treatment of the Papal Legate, De Tournon. He could, had 
he wished, have quoted the "terrible decree" (atrox decretum), pre- 
pared by Innocent XI, which according to Fr. Cordara, S.J., would 

27 The Jesuit Enigma 

have been "exceedingly bad" (male admodum), for the whole 
Society, had not Innocent died suddenly. 

Clement refers to the pressure brought to bear on the previous 
Pope by "those whose piety and well-known hereditary devotion to 
the Society, namely our very dear sons in Jesus Christ, the Kings of 
France, Spain, Portugal and the Two Sicilies" was unquestionable. 
But "the sudden death of that Pontiff (Clement XIII), checked all 
progress in the matter," of suppressing the Society. "Hardly, how- 
ever, had we by the mercy of God been elevated to the Chair of 
Saint Peter, than the same prayers were addressed to us," and "a 
great number of bishops and other personages illustrious for their 
learning, dignity and virtue united their supplications to this re- 

The Cardinals of Spain, together with thirty-four Spanish bishops 
led by the Archbishop of Seville, were indeed demanding of Clem- 
ent the suppression of the Society, and from all over the Catholic 
world bishops and princes were united in urging him to take this 
step. When, however, a Bourbon ambassador attempted to offer 
him a bribe he indignantly repulsed him, saying, "I have my honour 
and my conscience to consult." No motive save his sense of duty 
compelled Clement to act. 

"Compelled by the duty of our Office which essentially obliges 
us to procure, maintain and strengthen with all our power the re- 
pose and tranquillity of Christendom, and to root out entirely what 
could cause the slightest harm; and, moreover, having recognised 
that the Society of Jesus could no longer produce the abundant fruit 
and the great good for which it was instituted . . . and seeing that 
it was almost and indeed absolutely impossible for the Church to 
enjoy a true and solid peace while this Order existed ... we do, 
hereby, after a mature examination and of our certain knowledge, 
and by the plenitude of our Apostolic power, suppress and abolish 
the Society of Jesus. We nullify and abrogate all and each of its 
offices, functions, administration houses, schools, colleges, retreats, 
etc., etc. . . . Hence we declare as forever broken and entirely 
extinct all authority, spiritual or temporal, of the General, Provin- 
cials, etc.j as regards the missions, we include them in everything 
that has been ordered in this Suppression. . . ." 

Clement foresaw that the Jesuits would strive by some means or 

A Pope and an Apostate 271 

other to discover a way out, an "escape," through some canonical 
flaw in the structure of the Brief. Therefore, in the most explicit 
terms, he counters every pretext for evasion. "After the publica- 
tion of the Brief we forbid any one, no matter who he may be, to 
dare to suspend its execution . . . under any pretext foreseen or 
unforeseen . . . for we wish that the suppression and cessation of 
the whole Society as well as of all its officers should have their full 
and entire effect at the moment and instantaneously, and in the 
form and manner which we have described above under pain of 
major excommunication, incurred i-pso facto by a single act and 
reserved to us and to the Popes our successors. . . . This is directed 
against any one who will dare to place the least obstacle, impedi- 
ment or delay in the execution of this Brief ... we wish . . . 
that it (this Brief) should never be' attacked, weakened or invali- 
dated on the plea of subreption, obreption, nullity, invalidity, or de- 
fect of intention on our part or for any other motive no matter how 
great or unforeseen or essential it may be or because formalities and 
other things have been omitted which should have been observed. 
. . . Moreover, we wish expressly that the 'present Constitution 
should be from this moment valid, stable, and efficacious forever, 
that It should have Its full and entire effect; that It should be In- 
violably observed by all and each of those to whom It belongs, or 
will belong In the future In any manner whatever." 

Clement was not incorrect in his estimate of Jesuit disobedience 
and evasion, for in spite of all these clear and positive and legal 
Constitutions, the Jesuits completely disregarded the Brief by con- 
tinuing to function, on various pretexts, in Russia, Prussia, and in 

An insight into Jesuit psychology is afforded by Fr. Campbell's 
review of Clement's Constitution. 3 "Such was the famous Brief 
which condemned the Society to death. Distressing as It Is, It at- 
tributes no wrong-doing to the Order. It narrates a few of the 
accusations against the Jesuits but does not accept them as ever hav- 
ing been proved. The sole reason given for the suppression and it 
is repeated again and again is that the Society was the occasion of 
much trouble in the Church. It is thus on the whole a vindication 
and not a condemnation" 
8 The Jesuits, p. 572. 

272 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

There is one particular paragraph in the Brief which is of very 
exceptional interest, that, namely, in which Clement refers to the 
supposed confirmation and approval of the Society by the Council 
of Trent. Evidently, he, Clement, had heard Jesuits claiming that 
their Institute was in a sense "perfect" because the Council of 
Trent had approved and confirmed it. And needless to say, a 
scruple assailed him. What if he were to condemn an Institute 
that Holy Church had declared "perfect"? So he set himself to 
examine records of the Council and to assure himself on the point. 
Now, as a matter of fact, when Ignatius sent two of his men, Lainez 
and Salmeron, to the Council he ordered them to try to get the 
Council's approval for the Order. A friendly bishop had protested 
to him against doing so on the grounds that "no religious order had 
ever before been approved by any general council of the Church," 
but apparently Ignatius was cock-sure of securing this valuable and 
infallible testimony to the perfection of the Institute. Of course, 
his agents failed egregiously, but they secured, by some obscure in- 
trigue, to have the adjective "pium" (holy) inserted before the word 
"institutum," when a certain exemption was made in favour of 
Jesuit novices. 

How they managed to secure the insertion of the word "pium" I 
cannot tell. It may have been put in by the scribe of the Council 
in writing up in their final form the laws to be passed. The word 
"institutum" without "pium" occurs on the. agenda papers of the 
special session (November 30, 1563), and the law I refer to was 
passed as such. But on the agenda paper of the plenary session 
(December 3, 1563), there appears the wonderful little word 
"pium" out of which the Jesuits make so much capital. I do not 
doubt but that it was inserted without authorisation of any kind. 
Anyhow even to this day the Jesuits claim that their Institute was 
"praised" by the Council of Trent, because of this adjective that 
they had slipped in unawares. 

To return to Clement. He set himself, therefore, to see if in- 
deed Trent had "approved and confirmed" the Jesuit Institute as 
the Order claimed in his day. 

"Amongst other things we sought to find out if there existed in 
fact any justification for the opinion common to very many that the 
said Order of the clerics of the Society of Jesus had been in a cer- 

A Pope and an Apostate 273 

tain solemn manner approved and confirmed by the Council of 
Trent. We found that the said Council concerned itself in no 
way with the said Society save in so far as it exempted it from the 
general decree in which it was enacted for other Orders of Regu- 
, lars that as soon as the noviceship was over the novices who were 
found suitable should be admitted to profession or else dismissed 
from the monastery. Whereupon the same sacred synod declared 
it did not wish to introduce any innovation or to prohibit the said 
order of Clerics of the Society of Jesus from serving God and His 
Church according to their pious rule which had been approved by 
the Apostolic See." 

Thus Clement found that in spite of Jesuit claims the Council 
of Trent neither approved nor confirmed nor praised the Jesuit 
Institute, but simply allowed them an exemption, at which, as will 
be seen on consulting the Council's records several bishops protested 
very warmly. 

Fr. Campbell, S.J., 4 grossly mistranslates this passage of Clement's 
Brief y apparently wilfully keeping up the false claim of the Jesuits. 
His translation reads: "We have especially thought it advisable to 
find out upon what basis this widespread feeling rested with regard 
to the Society, which had been confirmed and approved in the most 
solemn manner by the council of Trent" 

Dominus ac Redemptor was the chief work of Clement's pon- 
tificate. It reflects the gentle, merciful, and sincere character of its 
author. It is full of dignity; temperate, mild, and not untouched 
with pathos. Clement, like all sincere Catholics, felt pain and hu- 
miliation that the Order which had been so much to the forefront 
in fighting the Church's battles for two centuries should have fallen 
away and become a source of evil and trouble. The sorrow of a 
Pope in having to admit that the Order, that had been looked upon 
as "the grenadiers of the Pope's bodyguard," and that had been so 
highly privileged as to be taken "under the special protection of the 
Holy See," had proved a traitor to the best interests of the Church, 
must have been very great. Clement knew well what the cause of 
the decay in the Order was, and hence his obvious astonishment at 
the lack of foresight in his predecessors who by multiplying the 
Order's privileges had accentuated that cause. His duty was a 
.*Cf. pp. 562, 563. 

274 The Jesuit Enigma 

difficult and unpalatable one, but he faced and achieved it with the 
strength and simple directness of a true son of Peter. Needless to 
say, he never retracted what he had done although Jesuits spread 
rumours to the contrary. How far the Jesuits were from accepting 
the Brief in holy silence and submission, as they boasted they did, 
we have already seen, and how contumaciously they disobeyed and 
vilified the memory of Clement is common history. 

Over a hundred years had passed. The Society of Jesus from 
its moribund state of apostasy in Russia, had sprung to life again 
and recovered its privileges, when in June, 1904, in one of the 
Order's beautiful estates, overlooking Richmond Park in London, 
a Professed Father, the Rev. George Tyrrell, S.J., took up his pen 
to write, with avowed reluctance, a long letter to the General of the 
Jesuits, Father Louis Martin. 

Tyrrell, at the time, was widely known in England as an ascetic 
writer of great charm and power. As a young man he had, after 
much hesitation and searching of heart, joined 'the Catholic Church, 
and somewhat later had entered the Society of Jesus. Among the 
Jesuits he had promised himself that he would find ideal opportuni- 
ties for working in the cause of Christian Faith as he understood it. 
"I entered the Society," he wrote, "not only with a full belief that 
it still was what it had been at first but with a strong bias to find 
things as I expected." And, again, "I entered what I thought was 
a Society devoted to the progressive and expansive interest and I 
found myself in one sworn to the cause of reaction and intransi- 
gence." Fr. Tyrrell had formed his judgment of the Society of 
Jesus on the basis of its early history, the best days of Ignatius 
Loyola, whom he looked upon as enterprising, adaptive, unconven- 
tional, and as having a deep insight into the needs of his times. 
Later on, Tyrrell came to recognise that there was a narrow re- 
actionary counterstrain in Ignatius, a spirit assimilated from the 
autocratic atmosphere in which he lived. "Ignatius Loyola," wrote 
Tyrrell, "felt the need of elasticity and accommodation to the 
changed conditions of the New World ... he conceived the idea 
of an Order whose first principle should be elasticity and accommo- 
dation." It was of this Ignatian principle that Tyrrell became 
enamoured; what he believed to be the liberal spirit of the Society 

A Pope and an Apostate 275 

attracted him. He admired what he considered to be flexibility in 
Ignatius' rules; the manner in which the Jesuit Institute emancipated 
itself from office-singing, fixed dress, obligatory penances and 
ceremonies, and how, "with a view to reconciling the claims of 
religion with those of the new learning, the rules made learning a 
condition of solemn profession." 

But, alas! "Like every pioneer of a new method, Ignatius never 
attained to a perfect inward consistency, but strove to combine with 
those principles which constituted his originality, others derived by 
education and tradition from Spain of the sixteenth century, with its 
military spirit, its despotic polity, its contempt of personal liberty of 
thought and action. It is these traditional elements of his mind, 
rather than those original and personal elements, that have been 
developed in the existing Society." 

Fr. Tyrrell was not long in the Order before he received cruel 
shocks. "I had not learnt," he wrote in his biography, "the inevi- 
table discord between the real and the ideal, and the conventional 
lawfulness of the untruth by which this is steadily denied in the face 
of noonday facts by those in authority." His first experiences of 
life in the Order were gained in a Jesuit college in Malta. Of 
this house he wrote, "I was unutterably shocked and disgusted by 
the general tone of the community; by the absence of all I had 
expected to find, and the presence of much that I should have 
thought incredible. It was almost each member against each and 
all, and all and each against the head." There, during the spiritual 
reading at meal-times in the community refectory, he made his first 
acquaintance with Jesuit vanity and arrogance. He had to listen to 
the short biographies of Jesuits, read from a book called the Me- 
nology of the Society of Jesus, which he described as "a series of the 
most vapid and fulsome eulogies of deceased members." 

It is not necessary to trace in detail Fr. TyrrelPs career in the 
Order. Suffice it to say that he was held in very high esteem for 
his virtue and learning and received the supreme proof of the 
Society's approval in being raised to the highest grade in the Order, 
that of Professed Father. Furthermore, he was appointed pro- 
fessor of theology at Stonyhurst, which office is only given to 
Jesuits whose orthodoxy is unquestionable. His influence among the 
members of his own Province became very great and at the time of 

276 The Jesuit Enigma 

his break with the Order he had a considerable "following," quite 
an unusual phenomenon in the Society where leaders of thought are 
not tolerated. As his experience of the spirit and policy of the 
Order grew he became more and more convinced that "not progress 
as formerly but reaction and intransigence is the cause for which 
the Society now exists and works." He came to see how baseless 
was "the common belief among Catholics and Protestants that 
Jesuits are to-day . . . men keenly alive to the problems of their 
age and devoted before all things to the reconciliation of faith and 
knowledge." But far from working for any such enlightened pur- 
pose "the Society is leagued with those who are making faith impos- 
sible for millions" Instead of finding the Order among the pro- 
gressive elements of the Church, he found it engaged in holding back 
the Church from that kind of evolution that even Cardinal Newman 
recognised as a necessary and noteworthy feature of Catholicism. 
"Co-existing with a decided preference for reactionary ideas," wrote 
Tyrrell, "there is not in the Society, as I had long hoped and tried 
to show, such a tolerance for progressive ideas as is to be found in 
the more capacious bosom of the Church at large, but on the con- 
trary, and counter to some of the ruling ideas of its Founder, the 
Society has come to exist and work solely in the interests of that 
unqualified intransigence which constitutes the Church's gravest 
danger at the present moment." 

The evil turn that the Society took, probably in the days and 
under the Generalship of that polished and gifted arch-diplomat and 
steel-gloved autocrat, Claudius Acquaviva, sealed its doom. Fr. 
Tyrrell never expressed hope for the future of the Society, but he 
was not merciless about its past. "I do not see in the Society of 
Jesus a monstrous and deliberate conspiracy against liberty and 
progress in religion and civilisation. I see in it an institution good 
in its origin, beneficent in large tracts of its history, serviceable still 
in many of its ways, well-meaning to a great extent, perhaps mainly; 
but one which merely through arrested and distorted development 
and through lack of elasticity has grown out of harmony with a 
rapidly developing culture; and has thus become on the whole a 
source of discord and mischief; of a great deal more evil than good. 
That is not a very sensational conclusion. But it is the more likely 
to be true. Moreover, it is the conclusion of nearly every Jesuit 

A Pope and an Apostate 277 

who begins to think for himself and to form a judgment about the 
Institution to which he belongs." 

Fr. Tyrrell was provoked into reflections upon the "uncatholi- 
cism" of the Order by the fact, that in spite of Leo XIII's Bull, 
Mternl Patris, emphasising the need of Thomistic theology, and in- 
sisting on its being taught in Catholic theologates, Fr. Tyrrell was 
dismissed from his professorial chair on account of teaching Thomas 
instead of the Suarezian theology that the Society preferred. This 
proved an eye-opener for him as to the arrogance and ignorance of 
Jesuit Superiors. Later on came a grave reprimand from Leo to 
the Society, the letter, Gravissime Nos, but Tyrrell was not re- 
instated. As a writer on spiritual subjects he began to interpret 
Christian teaching in a sense little to the liking of his Superiors and 
he found himself in conflict with the Society's system of censorship. 
He perceived more and more clearly the hopelessly out-of -touch 
state of the Society. He found Superiors were utterly indifferent to 
and ignorant of the trend of modern thought. Furthermore, he saw 
how great and how injurious was Jesuit influence on the Church of 
Christ. He observed how surely, if gradually, the Church was 
being Jesuitised. Authority in the Church was being steadily cen- 
tralised, after the pattern of the Society, and thanks to its influence. 
The Pope, since the Vatican Council, where, through Jesuit intrigue, 
Pius IX had all but attained to that "absolute, irresponsible, personal 
infallibility," that he claimed, had become more and more of a 
divine autocrat. Bishops were being stripped of their autonomous 
rights. And the tendency at Rome was to appoint only nonentities 
as bishops; men who would be too weak or too ignorant to stand up 
for their rights against Rome. 

Meanwhile in the Society that ''absolutism of the General" that 
had shocked Clement XIV had increased. Subjects were being 
treated in a still more marked way as mindless infants. Superiors 
from the General down were playing their roles of quasi-omniscient, 
infallible little gods. They talked down to their subjects as though 
they were incapable of thinking, though these subjects were as often 
as not immensely superior to them intellectually. Lay-brothers 
were still forced to lead "unnatural and inhuman lives," and "to 
serve God in holy simplicity" (and ignorance), all educational 
facilities being denied them. Recruits were gathered by what 

278 The Jesuit Enigma 

Fr. Tyrrell called a spiritual "press-gang" system. "If possible the 
boy leaves college for the Noviceship ignorant of the law of genera- . 
tion. Once there it is not hard to get him through his two years of 
probation and to let him vow perpetual chastity and celibacy in this 
same ignorance. The common sense of all mankind and their sense 
of justice cry out 'shame' on the transaction and laugh at the sup- 
posed validity of the fraudulent contract. You (Society of Jesus!) 
not so. Your theological quibbles have made out the necessary case 
for validity, and Rome is coaxed into silence if not into ac- 
quiescence." This "press-gang" system, however, had brought its 
own punishment, for the Society, instead of being a select body of 
highly qualified and saintly men, had degenerated into "a vast eccle- 
siastical militia of mentally and morally average men." 

Much if not all of these criticisms of the Order were contained 
in the long and cruel letter that Fr. Tyrrell wrote from Richmond 
Park to his General at Rome. He showed the General how Jesuit- 
ism was "just the counter-extravagance to Protestantism." While 
Protestantism meant irresponsible liberty, Jesuitism meant equally 
irresponsible coercion of mind and will. Why either extreme? 
Surely there could be found a via media, a path along which all 
Christians could walk in harmony and peace. "The Society's boast 
is to have stayed the spread of Protestantism, and to have saved half 
Europe to the Church. Its success has been its ruin; its action has 
been met with reaction; in buttressing authority it has crushed 
liberty and established absolutism ; and as a result Protestantism lives 
still to protest more than ever. Doubtless the via media, the true 
synthesis of liberty and authority, is still to seek and while this is the 
case the Catholic Church will choose Jesuitism rather than Protes- 
tantism." But, of the two extremes, Tyrrell seemed to think that 
Protestantism was less far from the spirit of Christ than Jesuitism. 

"What I have said," he tells the General, "a hundred Jesuits are 
saying every day." Not, of course, in the hearing of Superiors, but 
quietly and among themselves. "Internal dissension is rife . . . 
the young men are already in revolt, such among them at least as 
think for themselves. . . . Superiors can no longer rule . . . the 
irresistible causes of the Society's decay are in the psychological 
atmosphere of the age." 

Fr. Tyrrell concludes with a boast, a boast that may seem very 

A Pope and an Apostate 279 

trivial to the uninitiated, but not so to those who understand what 
life in the Society means. "It is a good life's work," wrote Fr. 
Tyrrell, "to have arrived by personal experience and reflection at the 
solution of so plausible a fallacy as that of Jesuitism." 

Tyrrell's indictment of the Society of Jesus may be summed up 
under three heads. ( l ) Pride blinding it to the possibility of prog- 
ress. (2) Absolutism alien to the Christian spirit. (3) Internal 
decay and corruption. 

(i) As regards the Society's pride in its infallibility and in its 
achievements, which preclude the possibility of further advance, he 
writes, "In theology, philosophy and letters, her Ratio Studiorum is 
the ultimate irref ormable standard. She has said the last word in as- 
cetical, in mystical and in moral theology. How could she afford 
to allow that she had ought to learn from the age? And so her in- 
transigence must be put forward as .orthodoxy, as the true Catholi- 
cism, while progressive ideas must be banned as unusual, suspect and 
heterodox. Rooted in the very heart of the Church of Rome, she 
stretches out her arms and tentacles through every fibre of its organi- 
sation, gripping it fast as ivy grips the oak and forbids its expan- 


(2) As regards unchristian absolutism. 

"Neither in the government of the Apostles by Christ, or of the 
Church by the Apostles, is there the slightest trace of that domi- 
nating, autocratic, arbitrary rule which the text in question, 'Who 
hears you, hears Me' (Qui vos audit, Me audit), is often adduced to 
justify. This dictatorial regimen was imported from the State into 
the Church in a military age when no other conception of govern- 
ment was possible and before men were ripe for the liberty written 
broad over the face of the Gospel. If churchmen still cling to it 
after the age has abandoned it, they must expect to be cut off more 
and more from the general life and to be regarded as a gens luclfuga 
(a people who shun the light), wedded to principles subversive of 
the existing bases of social order and progress." 

(3) As regards internal decay and corruption in the Society. 
This commenced when Ignatius' original system of sympathetic 

internal government was replaced by "external government conse- 
quent on the vast numerical increase of inferior members." Even 
before the death of Ignatius the unfortunate change had begun. In 

280 The Jesuit Enigma 

his old age Ignatius had lost much of his vision and mental poise. 
He was worried, in ill-health, and over-worked, and he gave reins 
to the traditional side of his character, his inherited autocracy. The 
"syndicus" came into being, "the secret informer who reports the 
sayings and doings of the community to the Rector and of the 
Rector to the Provincial." Spiritual training in the Order took the 
form of "humbling, degrading and depersonalising the mind of the 
subject." With external government, the spy system, and the deg- 
radation of the subjects, scandals began, though, as Fr. Tyrrell 
wisely remarks, "scandals prove nothing unless they can be shown 
to result 'per se from the principles according to which the Order 
is governed, Le., unless it can be shown that as a rule good men be- 
come less good or bad, and that bad men become worse. But this 
cuts both ways, for neither can the Society claim credit for the 
goodness and holiness of many of her members unless it can be 
shown to be a $er se result of her methods." "In spite of the some- 
what perilous boast to the contrary, the Society is just as liable to 
moral and spiritual corruption as any other Order; has been very 
corrupt in certain parts, at certain times, and is at present anything 
but edifying in some of the Latin provinces." 

t * 

That Fr. Tyrrell was a sincere and able thinker, as well as a 
brilliant writer, there can be no doubt. Neither can his knowledge 
of the Society be called in question. He was sensitive, of course, 
and possibly the harshness and stupidity of the Jesuit Censors of his 
books, whose judgment he was supposed to accept as that of God, 
hurt and bruised his soul into a certain bitterness. But his honesty 
of mind was clear to all. Even the General of the Order, Fr. 
Louis Martin, had to admit it. "Never have I had any doubt about 
the candour and sincerity of mind of your Reverence" he wrote to 
Fr. Tyrrell. 5 And furthermore Tyrrell never allowed the cruel and 
bitter persecutions that he subsequently suffered from the Society of 
Jesus to alienate him from his love of true Catholicism. "Not that 
I would ever cease to labour for the true understanding of Catholi- 
cism and for its defence against the perversion of obscurantists." 

Like Clement, Tyrrell "loved justice and hated iniquity." Like 
6 February 15, 1904. 

A Pope and an Apostate 281 

Clement's, his heart was set on the harmonious peace of a great 
Christian Church. Like Clement, he discovered that there was an 
evil influence in the Church, stirring up discord, rivalry, and bitter- 
ness. And he finally identified it with the selfish and arrogant spirit 
of his own Order. Clement, as Pope, struck at this evil thing in 
Dominus ac Redemftor. Tyrrell, while still a Professed Father, 
struck at it by his Letter to the General. No valid defence 
against either indictment of the Society of Jesus was ever attempted, 
and only a futile effort would be possible. But another form of 
defence was undertaken with a certain success by the "Little Com- 
pany of Jesus." Clement's peace of mind was harried by Jesuit 
intrigues; terror of poisoning haunted his shattered nerves; and 
his name was dragged in the mud after his death. Tyrrell was 
driven from the Church that he loved; prevented from having 
Christian burial after his death; and Catholics were taught to hiss 
at the opprobrious name of the "Apostate Tyrrell." 

There is much in common between the two documents that we 
hive been considering, the Dominus ac Redemptor and the 
Letter to the General. Both emphasise the extravagant abso- 
lutism of Jesuit Government and the disregard of the rights of 
subjects. Clement dwells on the atrocious Jesuit system of "dis- 
missal," and Tyrrell on the degradation of the subject's mind and 
character. Both protest at the unfair treatment of Jesuit novices, 
Clement because the Society keeps them from their definite right, 
accorded by the Council of Trent, to their vows, Tyrrell because 
the Order keeps them in the dark about what life means. Both 
are horrified at attempts to Jesuitise the Church, Clement because 
of the disregard of bishops' rights which it involved, and Tyrrell 
because of the inevitable reaction entailed. In the two documents, 
Jesuits are held responsible for the bitterness and discord rife in' 
the bosom of the Church; in this they are in agreement with 
Thomas Carlyle that the Society of Jesus is "the poison fountain 
from which these rivers of bitterness that now submerge the world 
have flown." "Christ," as Clement wrote early in his Brief, "was 
not the God of dissension but of peace and love." Both documents 
refer to the internal dissensions in the Order, and to the con- 
tumacious attitude of the Order towards Popes. Tyrrell openly 
accuses the Order of a "Protestantism," Clement of foisting false 

282 The Jesuit Enigma 

doctrines on the faithful. Both see in Jesuit practices the doctrine 
of "private interpretation." As another "apostate" wrote of the 
Order: "If a Pope could strip their Order (The Jesuits) of those 
distinctions and privileges which in their conviction peculiarly fitted 
it to carry on the Holy War, he was not acting as the Vicar of 
Christ, and his commands must be evaded. It did not occur to them 
that this was, in the end, the Protestant principle of private judg- 
ment against which they thundered the doctrines of papal authority. 
They were the children of Ignatius and had always felt that his 
private judgment was the judgment of God. So Jesuitism moved 
slowly towards the inevitable goal." 6 The salient common point 
of Dominus ac Redem'ptor and the Letter to the General is, 
however, the straight appeal that is made to Christ's faithful to 
recognise in Jesuitism something alien to the spirit of the simple, 
gentle, loving Jesus of Nazareth. 

Tyrrell parted from the Society of Jesus because he felt con- 
vinced that the Order was no longer "labouring in the vineyard" 
of Christ. He did not seek any dispensations from his vows because 
he believed that his vows were non-existent. He had, he felt, been 
substantially deceived, in the making of the vows, and the Society 
was entirely to blame for this deception. On the other hand, 
the Order proclaimed that he was a fugitive, and an apostate, and 
proceeded to "dismiss" him, and to warn all the faithful to have 
nothing to do with him as he was excommunicated. 

Tyrrell tried to find a bishop who would receive him into his 
diocese but he discovered, as so many other ex- Jesuits have dis- 
covered, that the Order goes beforehand prejudicing bishops and 
defaming their ex-brethren. Finally, when he died, Christian 
burial was refused his remains. This final dishonour would not 
have befallen him but for the vindictive intrigues of the Order. 

But, say the friends of the Order, had he not been excommuni- 
cated? Had he not taught false doctrines? Had he not upset the 
peace of the Church? Had he not sought the favour of heretics, 
and taken refuge in their midst? Had he not refused to submit to 
the papal decree of Piux X? And so forth. Yet they can find 
no accusation to make against Tyrrell that cannot be turned with 
a hundredfold force against the Society of Jesus! 

6 McCabe, A Candid History of the Jesuits, p. 62. Putnam. 

A Pope and an Apostate 283 

Had not the Order been condemned again and again for teaching 
false doctrines; not by one but by many Popes? Had it not been 
excommunicated countless times by bishops, archbishops and papal 
legates? Had it not upset the peace of the Church in every coun- 
try in the world? Had it not, when suppressed by Clement, 
sought the favour of the heretics, Frederick of Prussia and Cath- 
erine of Russia, and taken refuge in their midst? Had it not 
refused to submit to Clement's Brief? In fine, what opprobrious 
title was there which the Jesuits applied to Tyrrell, whether of 
apostate, fugitive, or excommunicate, that had not been fulminated 
against the Order itself again and again by the authority of the 



THE scene of a ludicrous experience was the Noviceship refectory 
at Tullabeg (Ireland). It happened during dinner. It was all 
over a glass of beer. In the background lay a titanic struggle be- 
tween my sense of human respect and a desire to assert my inde- 

The Noviceship refectory was, especially during dinner, as 
solemn as a cathedral during a Requiem Mass. Around the room, 
with their backs to the walls, and facing a high lectern in the 
centre, from which a young religious read of things high and holy, 
were seated the novices and some ten grave Fathers. At the head 
of the room sat the Master of Novices, stern, dignified and vigilant. 
Close by him sat his Socius (Assistant), still more stern and vigilant, 
but possessed of no dignity whatsoever. Tension, strain and the 
most profound decorum prevailed; each novice eating his meal as 
though it were a religious ceremony conducted in the presence of 
the invisible Christ. 

The serving at the table was performed by novices, whose every 
movement was carefully regulated, and whose comings and goings 
were silent, modest, and swift. At a certain moment a novice 
entered carrying a can of beer, and passed round the tables, prepared 
to fill any glass that might be moved out towards him. But not 
once in a twelve-month was he called on to fill a glass, for the 
novices, though free to take beer if they wished, were afraid to 
do so, and the fathers who knew that the beer was of the poorest 
quality, had too much interest in their physical well-being to drink 
it. The drone of the pious reading deadened the sound of knife 
and fork, and punctually to the minute the Superior used to tap 
the table as a signal and the meal was over. 

One day I entered the refectory trembling with excitement. I 
had been thinking things over and had come to the conclusion that 


Reminiscences and Reflections 285 

it was not virtue but human respect that was keeping me from 
taking a glass of beer. I had resolved to exercise my strength of 
will, and assert my independence of human respect. I was resolved, 
cost what it might, to do so, and the struggle was a terrific one. 
I knew I should not enjoy the beer, but I should perfect my 
character, and like every other novice I was deeply concerned about 
self-perfection. As the dinner proceeded I became more and 
more nervous. I couldn't think of anything but the ordeal that lay 
before me. I knew my action would cause a mild sensation; that 
every one in the refectory would notice that "Br. Barrett" took 
beer, and I guessed that there would be considerable criticism of 
my conduct. But what did I care, so long as I was acting within 
my rights and from a pure and lofty' motive? 

At length the moment arrived when the novice with the beer- 
can started his swift circuit of the refectory. I put out my glass 
and held my breath. He came to where I was and 'passed he 
had not seen my glass ! Then events began to move swiftly. The 
lynx-eyed Socius had of course seen me moving my glass. Loudly 
and furiously he began to signal to the "beer-novice" to come back. 
Every one looked up. The Superior fixed his eyes upon me, evi- 
dently wondering what had come over me. Had I lost my voca- 
tion? At last the trembling novice returned with the can. Then, 
horror of horrors, another catastrophe! The beer-can was empty! 
The novice had not filled it, calculating that no one would want 
beer! Once more the irascible Socius got active. He called up the 
"beer-novice" and reprimanded him, sending him to the cellar for 
beer. My cheeks were all the while suffused with blushes. I was 
the unhappy centre of attention. For a few minutes there was a 
lull in the excitement; then the "beer-novice" reappeared with a full 
can and hastened to where I was, and filled my glass. 

Up to this point only natural forces were in play. But now the 
Supernatural took a part in my discomfiture. I stretched out my 
palsied hand to take in the ill-fated glass of beer, when, lo! the 
bottom fell out of the glass and the beer spilled over the immacu- 
late tablecloth and polished floor. There commenced a veritable 
hue and cry. The Socius was on his feet; all the servers were 
hurrying with mops; the "beer-novice," pale as death!, was standing 
by. The Superior himself added to the confusion. At last a new 

286 The Jesuit TLnigma 

glass was procured and filled for me, and I, almost sick with shame 
and excitement, quaffed the cup of sorrow. 

The incident had its sequel. My conduct, though not directly 
commented on by Superiors, was taken as an illustration of a cer- 
tain dangerous independence in my character. And the story of 
the one Juryman, who although in a minority of one in a disagree- 
ment, called the rest of the Jury "obstinate," was repeated to me 
ad nauseam. 


It is well known that novices in their spiritual intensity go easily 
from one extreme to another. And so from my belief in the virtue 
of independent action, I swung, under the advice of Superiors, to 
the other extreme of keeping in line in all things during my Novice- 
ship. This determination survived an interesting and severe test 
shortly afterwards. 

Among the Superiors who were constantly warning me to toe 
the line and obey with the blindest possible obedience, was the 
Socius referred to above j an irascible, sulky little man, who hated 
me very heartily, and who made things as disagreeable for me as 
he possibly could. Still I bore him no ill-will, for in my piety 
I believed that he like every other living Jesuit was, in spite of 
appearances to the contrary, at heart a saint. 

The test of my blind obedience, which I have alluded to as in- 
teresting and severe, occurred during a fire which broke out in the 
Noviceship shortly afterwards. The fire was not very serious, but 
the house was filled with dense and stifling smoke. The novices' 
quarters were out of reach of the smoke as a door intervened, so 
when the Novice Master visited us he told us to remain where we 
were, and "under no circumstances to go outside our own quarters." 
That was definite and clear, and most of us were prepared, if 
necessary, to die as spiritual Casabiancas! Well, a few minutes 
later, I happened to be near the door that cut off the Noviceship 
from the smoke, and I heard deep groans just at the other side of 
the door. I recognised the groans as those of the Socius. Evidently 
he had been overcome by smoke and had fallen outside the Novice- 
ship door. What was I to do? Was I to act with judgment and 
independence and open the door and pull him in, even though in so 
doing I was "going outside the novices' quarters"? There was no 

Reminiscences and Reflections 287 

question of danger, or risk of a physical kind, but there was danger 
of breaking the rule! I had been given the rule of blind obedi- 
ence; it had been emphasised in my case; I had been warned against 
trusting my own judgment. So with a pious prayer for his safety, 
I passed on my way and left him to his fate! 

I was never blamed for doing so. To that extent at least my 
Superior was consistent. Fortunately the poor man was rescued 
before too late. He would, however, have been spared a severe 
illness had I had the good sense to follow my own judgment and 
break the rule. 

The incident shook my faith in the virtue of blind obedience; 
the virtue, as Fr. Tyrrell defined it, "of shifting one's convictions 
at the mot d'ordre of a Superior," a virtue which finally results 
in one having no convictions at all. 

In writing of Voltaire, Will Durant says: 1 "his later educators 
the Jesuits gave him the very instrument of scepticism by teaching 
him dialectic the art of proving anything, and therefore at last 
the habit of believing nothing." In their own defence the Jesuits 
use dialectic in a bewildering way. To their own satisfaction they 
have disentangled themselves from indictments and charges and 
accusations of every conceivable kind. "The Society," wrote Fr. 
Tyrrell, "cannot for a moment afford to allow that it has ever 
done wrong or could need reform." Common-sense Jesuits, how- 
ever, are well aware that the pose of being "blameless and perfect" 
is in a high degree perilous and they await the day when it will 
be cast aside. 

Jesuit dialectic has to some extent the same effect on individual 
Jesuits that Durant recognised in Voltaire. They come to doubt 
about almost everything, and are far from sure how much they 
believe or disbelieve. They continue to teach the old doctrines of 
the Order through routine rather than conviction. For the most 
part they would just as readily teach the opposite of these doctrines. 
Their attitude towards tenets of philosophy and theology is entirely 
impersonal. Not being allowed to think for themselves or hold the 
opinions that appear good to them, they take but a limited interest in 
what they "hold" and teach. 
1 Cf. Story of Philosophy, p. 222. 

288 The Jesuit Enigma 

It was the common opinion of my class fellows in dogmatic the- 
ology that our Jesuit professor, an exceedingly brilliant dialectician, 
believed very little about anything. The only intellectual sincerity 
he ever displayed was in his destructive criticisms. .The only reality 
that there was for him in a city was what was left of it after it was 
burned to the ground. 

Yet this clever sceptic, who believed almost nothing of theology 
and theologians, would unreservedly accept as absolutely true any 
tale reported to him by one of his young lady penitents. 

There are in the Society of Jesus two distinct classes: the ruling 
class and the rank and file. The ruling class formulates the policy 
of the Society. The rank and file do most of the work. In the 
former class there is a sincere or simulated regard for the Con- 
stitutions. The latter class in general knows little about them, and 
is at the mercy of Superiors. In both classes there are pious men 
and worldlings; money-makers and money-spenders; scholars and 
unlettered men ; wags and fools. But it is among the rank and file 
that are to be found the best human types and the idealists. The 
Superiors are nominated from a fairly narrow ring. They are 
changed from one house to another as their period of Superiority 
expires. They are, unless they have proved disastrous failures, 
reappointed in due time. And it usually happens that men who 
have once been chosen as suitable for Superiority, remain, with 
short intervals between their various terms of office, Superiors all 
their lives. 

A Superior is never chosen from the rank and file. There is no 
such thing as promotion; and seniority counts for nothing in the 
appointment of Superiors. It is an indefinable kind of moderation 
and prudence, together with practicality, that tells in the choice of 

Professed Fathers are numerous in the ruling class. They are 
supposed to form the nucleus of the Society; the fiece de resistance. 
They assume, as a rule, lordly airs; they participate in the secrets 
of government. The rank and file are glad of an opportunity of 
making fun of them, and enjoy to the full their mistakes and 
foibles. They feel no pride in them nor loyalty towards them. 
On the contrary, they think very poorly of the majority of them. 

Reminiscences and Reflections 289 

The cleavage between the ruling class and the rest is marked 
very clearly, but the rank and file, taking it as a matter of course 
that they should never be called on to govern, are not greatly con- 
cerned over the matter. 

The existence of the two classes has had an important bearing 
on the evolution of the Society of Jesus. Among the rank and 
file there is a home for the disgruntled, the disappointed, and the 
unjesuitical types. There are many good humans in the Order 
who would long since have left were it not for the existence of 
this underworld. It is in a sense the "opposition" and affords an 
escape from the core of the Society. It would be impossible that 
such a vast number of men who are wholly out of sympathy with 
Jesuitism as such could still remain in the Order were it not for 
this "opposition" class. I have known great numbers in the Society 
who heartily hated the ways of the 1 Order, and the mentality of 
the Order, and yet they somehow found they could still live on 
in it, on account of the existence of this very large class of under- 

The ruling class, the true Society, is small in number. It com- 
prises at most ten per cent of the whole. It holds, as I have said, 
all the power; it is in reality a coterie, a clique, a cabal. In it are 
the Superiors, actual, potential, and past; the consultors; the cen- 
sors; the procurators; and the holy men of the Jesuit ascetical type. 
In addition it includes the great money-getters of the province, and 
the chief syndici or spies. 

Among the rank and file one finds, besides the loyal but un- 
sophisticated pious Jesuits, the disgruntled, the rebels, the disedifying, 
the dreamers and idealists, the unpractical, the erratic, and above all 
the imprudent. 

One finds, of course, Professed Fathers in this latter class who 
have fallen from their high estate; and one finds some Coadjutors 
in the former class who have made good in the eyes of the Order. 


The existence of these two great classes is not recognised by the 
Constitutions. They are a natural evolution, due to psychological 
causes. No writer on the Jesuits has, I think, hitherto recognised 
their existence, but they are there plainly to be seen. The more 
odious tjiings that belong to the "Mind of the Order" are not 

290 The Jesuit Enigma 

usually to be found in the mentality of the rank and file. Indeed, 
it is hardly true to say that the rank and file are Jesuits in the 
accepted sense of the word. For the most part they are in active 
revolt against Jesuitism. They eat their bread, and sleep and 
clothe themselves in the shadow of Ignatius' statue, but they are 
no more Ignatians than are the Dominicans. 

It was the widespread discrepancy between the ideals of the So- 
ciety, as described in Jesuit literature, and the actual practices in 
vogue in the Order that for years proved an insoluble puzzle to 
me. But the puzzle was eventually solved though too late for my 
peace of, mind, when I found that the vast majority of so-called 
Jesuits lived in open repudiation of the tenets of Jesuitism, while 
those who professed Jesuitism fell far short in their practices of 
its ascetical demands. It is interesting to notice how in the Order 
"class-consciousness" is felt. The ruling class tend to gravitate 
more and more to certain definite houses, and the rank and file 
have a social life of their own about which the other class knows 
comparatively little. The funds of the Society are of course all 
vested in the names of tried and true rulers, but on the other hand 
it is the members of the rank and file who are best known and most 


liked by the Catholic public. 

There is a curious attitude with regard to recreation in the So- 
ciety of Jesus. Recreation is regarded as a Community Duty. 
Hence the term "compulsory recreation"; as distinguished from 
"free recreation." In general, recreation means sitting in a rather 
sombre parlour for about an hour after dinner, with the rest of the 
Fathers, some of whom read newspapers, while others talk or look 
out the window. It is a punishable offence to be absent from 
recreation without permission. After the hour is over the "com- 
pulsory recreation" is finished, but on certain days one may continue 
the recreation (free recreation) for an additional half hour. And 
it is considered edifying to do so and to show appreciation of the 
liberality of "Our Holy Mother the Society." The monotony of 
these official recreations is sometimes enlivened by an acrimonious 
dispute between two Fathers, to which the rest listen with amuse- 
ment. Or it may happen that there is some simple Father to "rag," 

Reminiscences and Reflections 291 

or "draw out." But usually the time passes very slowly; conversa- 
tion is dull ; and each one is anxious to escape to his room for a 
smoke or a siesta, as soon as the bell rings to signal the end of 

Among the younger men games are sometimes allowed during 
recreation. While at Louvain, on holidays, it was permitted to 
play football immediately after dinner. The Belgians who are 
heavy eaters, and for the most part poorly developed physically, 
used play nevertheless with great energy and excitement. They 
were not very proficient exponents of the game, "association foot- 
ball," but they were unaware of the fact. On one occasion they 
challenged the "foreigners," that is, the American, Irish and Eng- 
lish Jesuits, to an international contest. Their challenge was ac- 
cepted readily. The game was as usual to take place after dinner. 
The foreigners ate and drank modestly in anticipation of the strenu- 
ous exercise that lay before them. The Belgians, however, firmly 
believing in the efficacy of beer and veal, ate and drank in a notably 
more ample way than usual. Some of them were half drunk when 
the game started, and more frequently than not kicked the air in- 
stead of the ball when it came their way, and fell on their backs. 
An easy victory for the "foreigners" resulted. 


While at Louvain, I had as sub-Superior a very pious, emaciated 
little man, Fr. De V., who conceived the idea that I was far ad- 
vanced in the Spiritual Life, on the road, indeed, to canonisation. 
It was rather embarrassing for me, as I knew he took it as a matter 
of course that I should keep all the rules most perfectly. I felt 
pity for the little man and hated the idea of disappointing him in 
his expectations about me. He seemed so frail and wraithlike, 
and yet so utterly artificial in his piety, though unconsciously so. 
On one occasion a large parcel of "goodies" came to me by mail 
from Ireland and as my rule indicated I carried it to Fr. De V. 
to ask what to do with it. Alas! he accepted it for the Community, 
and I went back to my room feeling very sore. However, he was 
truly edified by my "strict observance," for a month or so later he 
called at my room. In his hand he held a small packet which he 
gave me with a celestial smile. "Voila, cher f rere, ga vous f era du 
bien" ("Here, dear Brother, that will do you good"), he said, hand- 

292 The Jesuit JLmgma 

ing me the packet. When he departed I eagerly opened the packet. 
Within a wrapping of much coloured paper I found two tiny 
pieces of candy! He had walked nearly half a mile to give them 
to me. 

While teaching in the colleges I had as fellow master a very 
learned but erratic young Jesuit, who was affectionately called the 
"bear." He was excitable and irascible but none the less lovable, 
and not unfrequently he was the object of practical jokes. His 
chief weakness was getting up late. It was impossible to awaken 
him in the morning and in spite of the efforts of his friends to 
cover up his unpunctuality he wasi very often in hot water with 
his Superiors. 

His friends at length determined to give him a lesson and they 
seized an occasion when he was called away one evening to deliver 
a lecture. He was not expected back until very late. 

First of all, an immense bear-skin was carried from the college 
museum and placed on his bed. A lighted candle was fixed in the 
bear's right paw, and in his left was placed a spiritual book opened 
at a chapter which dealt with the blessings that were bestowed on 
those who rise early. The bear's head was bent over the book as 
though reading it attentively. 

At length the hour came for our erratic fellow Jesuit to arrive. 
He hurried into his room not suspecting anything. There was a 
moment of silence, then a roar of laughter and his friends trooped 
into his room to offer their sympathy. 

* ' * 

It is usually thought the Jesuits are very great scholars and that 
they spend their days poring over books of lore. This is one of 
the commonest of the false impressions entertained about the Society. 
It is true that young Jesuits work hard at philosophy and theology 
as a rule and read a considerable amount. It is also true that here 
and there one comes across Jesuits with scientific "fads" who read 
considerably. Also one meets in nearly every Jesuit House at least 
one cultured and well-read man. But the ordinary Jesuit has no 
taste for science or learning, and pretends that he has no time for 
serious reading. He has, however, ample time for novel-reading 
and for reading the newspapers. Occasionally, too, the average 

Reminiscences and Reflections 293 

Jesuit picks up a review article and interests himself in it. But a 
very little of serious reading suffices him. 

I remember being much struck by the contrast between the pro- 
fessors who were teaching me at London University, Starling, Wat- 
son, Hill, Elliot Smith, Bayliss, Spearman, and others, and the 
Jesuit professors I had known in the Society. The former were 
serious and hard-working scholars. The latter were for the most 
part, whatever their gifts of mind, mere triflers. I never knew any 
Jesuit to work so conscientiously as did men like Watson (Zoology), 
or Hill (Physiology), or Spearman (Psychology). These men 
were whole-heartedly devoted to science. Jesuits are only "inter- 
ested in" it. For Jesuits, science is only a means to help them in 
their Apostolic work, and to maintain the undeserved reputation of 
the Order for learning. , 

There is, besides, deeply embedded in the minds of Jesuits the 
idea that the chief end and aim of scientists is to overthrow religion, 
and discredit the Catholic Church. Hence they look upon scientists 
with suspicion, and regard the advance of science from the view- 
point of increased "danger." Jesuit books of science, such as they 
are, are hailed as "refutations" "answers to attacks" and so forth. 
Catholics seem unconsciously to look to Jesuits to police science, 
rather than to nourish or encourage it. It was in no sense my 
intention, when writing "The New Psychology" to refute heresy, 
or defend the Church. Yet, in the concluding sentence of a lauda- 
tory review by a Jesuit, came the words: "Fr. Boyd Barrett's book 
is fart of the Churches answer to the latest attack" Why the 
study of the sub-conscious and the devising of methods for relieving 
mind-trouble should be regarded as an "attack on the Church" I 
fail to see. Yet such it is in the mind of the Jesuits. 

Instinctively the Order has manifested its dislike of psycho- 
analysis and modern psychology. It sensed at once that to some 
extent at least psycho-analysts would interfere in matters that 
hitherto belonged to the Confessor. It pretended to see in psycho- 
analysis a kind of lay-confession. 

Lay-confession! The idea was shocking and abominable ! The 
discussion of sex outside the confessional! Inevitable corruption and 

294 The Jesuit Enigma 

immorality! Sex had ever been the bugaboo of the Society, and 
now sex was to be studied scientifically. Catholics were going to 
be told that the sex-impulse played an important part in social life 
and that perfect mental equilibrium was impossible unless sex found 
an outlet in some way or other. What would become of the Jesuit 
thesis that in the matter of sex-sin there was nothing of minor 
gravity; that every fully deliberate indulgence of a sex-impulse, 
even if it were only the stroking of a child's hair, was ipo facto 
a mortal sin? "Under pain of excommunication . . . privation 
of office . . . etc. . . . and other penalities . . . members of the 
Society are -prohibited, either in public or in private, to teach as true, 
or 'probable, or even tolerable, the opinion of those who maintain 
that in sex matters a trifling 'pleasure, deliberately sought for and 
consented to, on account of ( smallness of matter' may be excused 
from mortal guilt; or to show that such an opinion pleases them; 
or to give counsel to any one in accordance with such an opinion." 2 

There is a special precept on all Jesuits 8 secretly to denounce to 
Superiors any other Jesuit who offends against the Censure just 

No doubt the Order saw at an early date in the development of 
psycho-analysis, that research into the science of sex, and a fuller 
biological and physiological knowledge of what sex meant, would 
discredit the Society's attitude and teaching in the matter. What 
would psycho-analysts think of the pious story that Saint Francis 
Xavier had burst a blood vessel when asleep in a fierce struggle 
that he had with an alluring dream? 

No one denies that, in the morbid discussion of sex, incentives to 
impropriety may arise, whether the discussion take place in the con- 
fessional or in the psycho-analyst's office. But in each case there 
are protective motives of self-interest, as well as virtue, at work. 
The confessor knows well that anything in the nature of "solicita- 
tion" will lead eventually to his being unfrocked. And the analyst 
knows that his fee as well as his good name will be lost if he loses 
self-control. The Jesuit is excessively suspicious of the conduct 
and advice of the analyst; and the analyst is perhaps excessively 

2 Epit. Const. 913. 8 Ibid., 914. 

Reminiscences and Reflections 295 

suspicious of the conduct and advice of the Jesuit; there, I suppose, 
the matter ends. 

The attachment of some Jesuits to the Society is very real and 
very sincere. Sometimes it is a spiritual attachment founded in the 
firm faith that life in the Society is the one sure and peaceful road 
to heaven. Other times it is founded in the human love of dear 
Jesuit friends and in the memory of many bright and happy hours. 
There is something pathetic in this latter kind of attachment to 
the Society. The bright and happy hours, that one enjoys in the 
Society, are more often than not, snatched at the expense of con- 

Again and again, I have had moments of sheer delight and 
gaiety in the Order; reunions in rooms where amid smoke and 
laughter there were good yarns and jolly songs, and perhaps a little 
wine to^pass around, or if not wine something good to eat, sur- 
reptitiously obtained. But looking back on these "bright spots" 
it is impossible to. disguise the fact that the joys were stolen; 
"Our Holy Mother the Society" stood frowning in the background. 

There are Jesuits who pretend that "holy joy" is an attainable 
substitute for the ordinary pleasures of life. But very few Jesuits 
in practice manifest such a belief. 

One meets many types of bores in the Society; of whom the worst 
of all is the cheerful saint with the utterly doleful face. Fear of 
hell is stamped upon his countenance all day long, and yet when 
he meets you he seems to regard it as his duty to "cheer you up." 
"Cheer up! cheer up! I heard a funny story once. . . ." He 
tells the funny story with his mind concentrated on the careful 
avoidance of the slightest disedifying ingredient that might possibly 
be contained therein. Then he hurries off, mumbling his prayers, 
self-satisfied at having done his duty and "cheered some one up." 

There is a great wastage of good* material in the Society of 
Jesus. Young men enter, of real ability, and full of generous 
purpose. They try to conform to the standards of the Society. In 
many cases they make heroic efforts to do so, but in the end they 
find that it leads nowhere. Self -extinction, and a complete holocaust 
of all plans, purposes, ideals, and potentialities, lies before them. 


The Jesuit' Enigma 

They accept the holocaust in due time, having striven in vain to 
find an outlet for their activities, but having accepted it, they become 
spiritless, disillusioned, and cynical. They feel profound disappoint- 
ment because they realise that it was for something other than self- 
extinction they entered the Order. They find themselves in very 
truth "old men's staffs" without initiative and without vitality. 

There is no doubt as widespread and profound cynicism in the 
Jesuit Order as in any other religious association in the world. 


As might be expected few Jesuits manifest interest in or capacity 
for artistic work. It is true that there have been a few Jesuit poets 
of ability, and a few members of the South Europe Provinces have 
been painters of some little merit, but apart from these the Order 
has done little or nothing for art. Some of course attempt to paint 
but their productions are of the crudest kind imaginable. One 
Father I knew who did Madonnas in oils that were so awful that 
his brethren were afraid to enter his room lest they should see them 
and hurt his feelings by laughing. 

In contradistinction to this dearth of artistic ability, Jesuits show 
great aptitude in constructing mechanical devices. I knew one 
Father who succeeded in taking excellent photographs from the 
air by flying a kite which supported a camera. Another young 
Jesuit I knew could make wonderful clocks out of sticks, stones and 
bits of wire. Another was able to construct a very perfect seismo- 
graph which he installed and which recorded excellently. Practical, 
mechanical ability is quite common in the Order. No doubt it 
offers a satisfactory outlet for repressed emotions. 

Many Jesuits are very competent judges of athletics, and their 
opinions on sport are usually well worth hearing. I knew one 
Father who could give the name and history of every horse that 
won the Grand National or the Derby for a period of thirty years. 

' ' 

Catholics are accustomed to think of Jesuits as the intellectual de- 
fenders of the Church. They imagine that the Church would 
suffer a serious deprivation if the Society of Jesus ceased to exist. 
Who could replace the Jesuit writers, teachers, and retreat-givers, 
they ask? Who could supply their place as the "intellectuals" of 

Reminiscences and Reflections 297 

Personally I know no country in which the Catholic Church 
would suffer any serious inconvenience from the suppression of the 
Order. There are now many Catholic schools and colleges which 
surpass those of the Jesuits. Jesuits are no longer leaders in Catholic 
educational enterprise. In very many respects they are far behind 
the Benedictines, an older, saner and more humane Order. As 
scientific writers, very few Jesuits attract notice. In any case it 
would be better for the Catholic Church if scientific questions 
were left to competent lay Catholics, and if scientific issues were 
considered on their own merits and not through theological spec- 
tacles. As regards Jesuit retreats and missions, it seems to many 
thoughtful Catholics that in general the effects of the "Spiritual 
Exercises" are far from being wholesome. As regards Jesuits 
being "intellectuals," every well-trained college graduate is able 
to see through the pose of the average Jesuit, and is able to 
recognise his limitations in scholarship. Besides, if Jesuits are 
"intellectuals," how is it that the standing of their Universities in 
this country is so low? What is the depth of the scholarship dis- 
played in the Catholic Encyclopedia, in the production of which 
the foremost Jesuits of the whole world collaborated? What if 
professors of Yale or Harvard should read the articles therein which 
touch on the topics that are the object of their special studies and 
express their opinions of Jesuit learning? 

* 5 

The Church has suffered in many ways from the presence of 
the Society of Jesus in its ranks, and from the influence it has 
exercised. There has been disturbance of peace and ill-will aroused, 
in every place where the Jesuits have been. But worse than this 
the Society has awakened a spirit of rivalry, competition and hustling 
in religion that has not told for good. No doubt in business the 
"practical spirit" is invaluable. It is important to count, to check 
up results, to advertise loudly, to outbid rivals, to push new under- 
takings noisily and vigorously, to scream out at the top of the voice 
the kinds of wares one has for sale, and the discount that one is 
ready to give for cash. But is the "practical spirit" the best thing 
in Religion? Are the ways of the Holy Spirit kindred to the ways 
of Broadway or Wall Street? Do the Jesuits deserve praise for 
introducing into sacred things the material methods of business? 

The Jesuit Enigma 

"Human means are not only not to be despised, but even .when 
there be need, prudently and religiously employed." 4 

Once competition, advertising, propaganda, was introduced into 
Apostolic work and Religion the fat was in the fire. To-day we 
see the consequences in those "rivers of religious bitterness" that 
Thomas Carlyle, while bewailing, attributed to the Jesuits. 


Perhaps it may be well to give one or two illustrations of com- 
petitive Jesuit methods in Religion. The first illustration has al- 
ready been referred to. Early in the history of the Order a privilege 
was obtained from the Pope whereby Jesuits could build a church 
close up to the churches belonging to other Orders. Canon law 
had hitherto forbidden "poaching" on the spiritual territory of 
another Order. This did not suit the Jesuits. They determined 
to poach and they obtained the privilege of poaching. Who can 
pretend that "competition" of this kind was good for Religion? 

Another instance of a different kind. At Paray-le-Monial in 
France a nun, afterwards beatified, as Blessed Margaret Mary, had 
visions late in the seventeenth century. Through the visions was 
founded the devotion to the Sacred Heart. The Jesuits "captured" 
this devotion, for Margaret Mary had foretold to her Jesuit con- 
fessor that the Jesuits would spread the devotion. When full 
authorisation was obtained from Rome the Jesuits set to work. 
Sodalities were formed; shrines were built; pious papers printed; 
Novenas instituted, and so forth. It was pushed in the same business- 
like way in which the devotion to the "Little Flower" has recently 
been pushed. It proved an immense source of revenue to the So- 
ciety. No doubt too it was a source of great good. But the method 
in which it was "put across" was advertising and the salesman's 
art. This is particularly illustrated in one detail of the devotion 
the "Twelfth Promise." 

By this promise, originating in a vision of Margaret Mary, sal- 
vation is guaranteed for every one who makes the Jesuit "Nine 
First Fridays" Novena. Jesuits know perfectly well that the 
"Twelfth Promise," as simple-minded Catholics interpret it, is ab- 
4 Reg. Miss. 14. 

Reminiscences and Reflections 299 

surd and even heretical, and yet the Society of Jesus, seeing good 
business in it, will not disillusion the pious faithful. Such are the 
results of introducing "the practical spirit" into Religion. 

Jesuitism should be looked upon as an adventurous experiment 
made on behalf of the Church, rather than a venture of the Church 
itself. It is true that it was tolerated by the Church, and to some 
extent sanctioned by the Church, but it is not true to say that it 
was guided and directed by the Church. Jesuitism never reflected 
the native spirit of Catholicism. There was always something alien 
about it. It came into the Church from without; it did not grow 
up within the Church. It was never identified with the accepted 
Catholic mentality. The "something about it" irreconcilable with 
simple, devout, lovable Catholicity inevitably made itself felt. 

No one can deny that Franciscans, Benedictines and Dominicans 
represent true Catholicism in its various phases. The colours of 
these Orders blend with the papal colours, and the complexion and 
features of the Fisherman Peter are easily recognisable in his chil- 
dren, Francis, Benedict and Dominic. But who can picture Peter 
in a Jesuit cassock, engaged in counting acts of virtue on an 
Examen beads or sitting outside a confessional, watch in hand, 
timing how long Mrs. Brown takes to tell her sins to her Jesuit 
Confessor? Who can imagine Peter instructing his disciples to 
reserve their courtesies for high-born and wealthy people? 

The presence of an element alien to the spirit of Peter is 
betrayed by the undisguised arrogance and secretiveness of the So- 
ciety of Jesus. These and other kindred characteristics indicate the 
existence of a complex in the mentality of the Order, a Superiority 
complex it may be, or a Power complex. An abnormality of some 
kind taints the Society, else why so much dislike and hatred for it, 
in the minds of so many normal folk? "The Society may break 
but it will never bend," has been the proud boast of many Jesuits, 
but is it not also the boast of all who suffer from delusions of 

When the spectacular career of the Order is finished, and the 
glory of its triumphs is dim, will the Jesuit be able to make the 
one boast that becomes a Christian? 

300 The Jesuit ILnigma 

"The tumult and the shouting dies, 
The captains and the kings depart, 
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, 
An humble and, a contrite heart" 


No reconstruction is possible in the case of the Society of Jesus. 
Hence in these pages no attempt is made to outline possible means 
of rendering the Society an efficient instrument of good. A hint 
from outside as to how to improve the Society would, needless to 
say, be received with scorn and contempt. A Society which through- 
out its history defied even Popes to introduce changes, would nat- 
urally not listen to suggestions from other sources less qualified to 
judge. No more iron-bound Constitution exists anywhere in the 
universe than that of the Society. The Constitution even of this 
great Republic is as wax compared with that of the Society. Not 
all the rulers of the world could secure the change of one word in 
the rules writ by the little Spanish hidalgo of the sixteenth century. 
In this unrelenting intransigence of the Society of Jesus, lies the 
deep secret of its initial success but inevitable failure. 




A CHAIN of sandhills runs across the centre of Ireland from 
the west, ending in the middle-east in a great morass or bog. It is 
the loneliest and most sombre part of Ireland, thinly populated 
and almost bereft of trees. Bitter cold winds sweep across the 
bog in winter, and rainy mists hang over the grey countryside. 
Spring comes late and without her usual glamour. She brings 
few gifts save daffodils and thorn-blossoms. Summer is subdued; 
almost sad, and the Fall flees quickly before the hastening onrush 
of Winter. For Offaly belongs to Winter, and the dull stone 
walls of the Jesuit Novitiate, Tullabeg, which lies in the heart 
of this poor, mournful landscape, are in keeping with its spirit. 

It was at Tullabeg, soon after sunrise on September 8, 1906, that, 
kneeling at the altar of the Noviceship Chapel, I vowed with all 
solemnity that I would pass my whole life, as a Jesuit, according 
to the Jesuit Constitutions, in poverty, chastity and obedience. I 
made my vows without reserve, and with deep sincerity of purpose, 
knowing well the seriousness and sacredness of what I was doing, 
for my heart was then full of love for the Society of Jesus, which 
I believed to be the noblest, holiest and most wonderful institution 
that the world had ever seen. 

At the time I was over twenty-two years of age, but I had 
seen little of the world and had no insight into the unconscious 
motives of life. I was singularly simple-minded and impression- 
able, and found it easy to believe good of all, especially of my 
co-religionists who signed themselves with the cross. Priests and 
Nuns, without exception, seemed to me the embodiments of virtue 


302 The Jesuit "Enigma 

and integrity, and I found it natural to visualise choirs of angels 
chanting noiseless songs of praise above the roofs of monasteries. 

My early life had been spent very piously and happily under the 
sheltering care of a widow mother, whose sweetness and unselfish- 
ness inspired me with wonder. I have not since met any one who 
combined in such a harmonious way gaiety, grace and sincere 
religion. She was tall, with long raven hair, and so beautiful to 
my childish fancy that she seemed a queen in disguise. She 
devoted herself wholly to myself and my two brothers, both of 
whom were older than I, and our life together in our old- 
fashioned home in the suburbs of Dublin, with its orchard and 
flower-houses, in which were vines and roses, was almost ideal. 
Our religion was a bright, devotional and picturesque Catholicism 
such as the Celtic spirit has grafted on the dry dogmas of the 
Church, and it was to be expected that as my brothers and I grew 
up, our thoughts should turn towards the priesthood. This hope 
was beyond doubt in my mother's heart, although she was too 
prudent to express it overtly. 

Our early education was given us by a fine old schoolmaster, 
who, as private tutor, came each day for a couple of hours. He 
taught us a little of everything, not excluding Latin and Greek, 
and when at last it was time for us to go to a boarding school, 
we were fairly well prepared in the elements of the ordinary 
school subjects. 

It was shortly before leaving home for school that I had a 
rather strange experience that I think worth while to relate. It 
occurred on a lonely road late at night when I was returning from 
devotions held in a country chapel. At the time I was nearly 
twelve years old, care-free and as fearless as any little lad of my 
age. My path home led me through the grounds of a ruined 
monastery; a monastery that had been burned down by the soldiers 
of Cromwell in the seventeenth century. As I followed the path 
I approached the gate of an unused churchyard and noticed a tall, 
dark figure likewise approaching the churchyard gate by another 
path parallel to mine. It was the figure of 'a gaunt woman. There 
was a black shawl over her head and her face was very pale. 
She reached the gate in advance of me, and as she did S0j she 
flung herself against it, stretching her arms high in the air and 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 303 

uttering a loud cry. Then slowly and imperceptibly she faded 
away and disappeared. 


Clongowes College, which my brothers and I entered in 1895, 
is the largest and oldest of the public schools in Ireland. It was 
opened by the Jesuits in 1814, soon after the restoration of the 
Order, and has remained in their hands ever since. Originally 
a castle built to defend the "Pale," it stands close by a dense wood, 
in the fertile plain of the graceful Liffey River in Kildare. In 
the distance are the ever blue Dublin Mountains, and in between 
low wooded hills amongst others the Hill of Lyons where the 
great Irish leader, Daniel O'Connell, slew D'Esterre in a duel 
with pistols. About Clongowes there will ever be for me a 
certain mystic splendour and loveliness. As one approaches the old 
Castle, giant soldier-limes stand on guard, shoulder to shoulder, 
for a mile on either side, and rich meadows, as soft and green as 
any in the world, spread away behind the trees. The grey and 
grim towers are half covered with clinging creepers, that are 
roseate in the autumn, and the massive oaken doors through which 
the nervous new-boys enter seem to be protective and to offer a 
kindly welcome. 

It was at Clongowes that my life's early dreams broke on 
consciousness. It was in the service of Clongowes that I gave the 
best years of my life. The triumphs that have fallen to my lot, 
that are of serious account in the economy of my heart, are games 
I won for Clongowes on its cricket field. The friends I have 
known who are unchangeable speak to mei still with boyish voices 
when I recall scenes long past in the Clongowes' corridors, and 
never in life have I felt the psychic influence of a place to be 
so real or so soothing as the soul that is like old wine in the air 
of Clongowes. 

It was at Clongowes that I came in contact with Jesuits for the 
first time. They seemed to me unlovable, strange beings, doing 
everything for a purpose and nothing spontaneously, somewhat 
dark and ill-omened, and my first impression was that of dislike. 
I yearned for a simple warm-hearted approach. I thought that all 
good people should be warm-hearted, and I felt disappointed and 
rebuked by the coldness of the Jesuits* There seemed something 

304 The Jesuit Enigma 

a little mysterious about them, and they were very unlike the 
open-hearted priests I had hitherto met. The strangeness about 
them struck me forcibly; it interested me but certainly did not 
attract me. 

After a little while something trustful and affectionate in my 
temperament asserted itself and I began to like them; some of 
them I liked very much. I recognised great differences between 
them, but I believed them all to be holy and learned and impelled 
by the highest motives. Soon I had made heroes of a few of 
them; one for his prowess at cricket; another for his handsome 
appearance and cordial smile; another for his extraordinary 
courage and fairness of judgment. The latter was my mathe- 
matical master; severe but absolutely just. He was young then. 
He is still alive, but his health has never been good. In after life 
I came across him from time to time, and in my mind he is still 
"the noblest of them all"; unvaryingly sincere, simple and fearless. 
He has lived a very obscure life in the Society, and is quite 
unknown outside its ranks, but he has never fallen short of the 
child dream I formed of his worth and courage. 

He had certain gifts that seemed marvellous to my young 
imagination; he could work out mathematical problems "in his 
head," without the use of paper and pencil; he could foretell the 
marks that boys would get at public examinations; he could, when 
at school holidays roulette tables were set up with candy as stakes, 
foretell the "colour" that would win in nine cases out of ten; and 
he could, at college debates, make speeches especially on patriotic 
subjects that stirred up the wildest enthusiasm. 

Life at Clongowes was interesting and happy. The games 
were well managed. Recreation was plentiful. The libraries 
were well furnished and good-fellowship prevailed. But teaching, 
even in the best classes, was very poor, and there was an ugly 
material element in the education given. This was due to the 
system of public examinations, called the "Intermediate System," 
at which successful students were rewarded with money prizes 
and the college received a bonus, a "result fee," for each boy 
who passed. There was much cramming as a result and prize- 
winners were the recipients of special privileges. They were 
accommodated at a special table in the refectory, where throughout 

'From "Dreams to Disillusionment 305 

the year they got more to eat and better food than the other 
boys. Cramming entered into the education of even the younger 
boys of twelve or thirteen years of age, for they too competed for 
public money prizes. 

At Clongowes I was well thought of by the Jesuits on account 
of my piety and simplicity. I was usually chosen by the boys as 
head of pious organisations, such as the "Sodality of the Children 
of Mary," and my influence was looked upon as an asset on the 
side of virtue and good order. I had many friends among the 
boys, mostly "good boys," for the others looked upon me as over- 
pious. But fortunately for myself, prowess at sport, at football, 
and especially at cricket which was the most important game at 
Clongowes, gave me a standing of importance. At the college 
debate, too, I won the much-prized debate medal, perhaps the 
most coveted of all college distinctions. 

When I was fourteen years old I had already determined to 
be a Jesuit. I knew I had a vocation; that I was called by God 
to be a Jesuit; and I made a private vow, though not a technical 
one, "never to cease striving to enter the Society of Jesus until 
I should succeed or die." From that moment until I actually 
entered the Noviceship about the age of twenty-one I never 
wavered in my "vocation" and I was entirely absorbed in it. I 
never allowed a thought contrary to it to remain iff my mind, and 
all my prayers and penances were directed towards strengthening 
and deepening my "vocation." The call of Christ, "Leave all 
and follow me," was forever ringing in my ears and I looked 
forward with joy to the day when I should be clad in the robes 
of a Jesuit. 

It was probably at one of the college "retreats" that my vocation 
took shape. Early in the first term of the school year the boys 
at Clongowes, as at many other Jesuit colleges, spend three days 
in silence, retiring four times a day to the chapel to hear sermons 
on the mysteries and duties of religion. They are told that life 
is vain; that riches and honours and pleasures do not bring happi- 
ness; and that the only thing worth while in this world is to 
love and serve God, and to work for His glory. The service of 
God means heaven; the pursuit of honour and pleasure means 

306 The Jesuit Enigma 

hell. The implicit idea conveyed is that the best and most useful 
life is that of a minister and apostle of religion. And naturally 
many boys thereupon begin seriously to think, as I did, of joining 
the Jesuits and making sure of their own salvation, while also 
helping others to save their souls. 

There were other elements in my vocation besides the super- 
natural element. I was already very fond of Clongowes, and 
Clongowes for me meant the Jesuit Order. Furthermore, I was 
moved by a great desire to please such Jesuits as I had idealised, in 
particular my mathematical master. Also I had read devotional 
accounts of the lives of Jesuit saints and a few pious but exag- 
gerated descriptions of the marvellous achievements of the Jesuit 
Order, and I was much influenced by the propaganda contained 

The Jesuit Order seemed to me then, as it still seems to many 
Catholics, to be an Order in which there prevailed a wondrous 
esprit de corps and a superlative discipline. It seemed to be 
inspired with so much enterprise in doing good that it guaranteed 
whole-hearted co-operation for all earnestly intent upon the service 
of their fellow men, whether as scholars, scientists, social workers, 
teachers or missionaries. It seemed to carry the promise of making 
the most out of every one who joined it and of cultivating the 
tastes and abilities of each of its members. It seemed to be an 
Order, so up-to-date, so broad in outlook and so keen in the 
appreciation of the evolution of human society and of the needs 
of its times, that it was ever prepared to use new weapons and 
new methods of warfare in the battle for higher things. Lastly, 
it seemed to be an Order that was, as it proclaimed itself to be, 
"ruled by the interior law of charity and love" rather than by 
any external or coercive ordinances. 

When I left Clongowes I had still three years to wait before 
entering the Jesuit Noviceship. A legal difficulty prevented my 
joining at once. My father had died intestate and I had been 
placed under the wardship of the Lord Chancellor. While a 
legal ward it was impossible to obtain permission to enter a 
religious Order, and I waited until my minority was almost over. 

I returned home to live with my mother and my second eldest 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 307 

brother. I attended lectures in the University and in another college 
and passed a difficult competitive examination which secured for 
me a good position in a great business establishment. 

It was in no way necessary for me to go to business but I was 
glad to avail myself of the opportunity of gaining experience, and 
it was a pleasure for me to help my mother financially. Those 
three years were full of happiness and strenuous exertion. I kept 
faithful to my religious ideals, rising early each morning to go 
to Mass before going to business, and I succeeded in organising a 
Catholic social undertaking of some importance among my fellow 
Catholics in the business firm where I was employed. My brother 
and I organised a football club and our weekly games were 
exciting events. My brother was a gifted artist, as well as being 
exceptionally brilliant in his medical , studies, and he was possessed 
of a fine literary sense. He was an ideal comrade and when the 
time came to leave him and our common pursuits I felt the wrench 
exceedingly severe. 

I do not fully understand how my mother looked upon my 
entering the Jesuit Order. She said not a word to urge me on or 
to oppose my purpose; she had no doubt cherished the dream of so 
many Irish mothers, of having a son a priest; but she was re- 
markably intuitive and as I look back to those days I seem to feel 
that she sensed in some strange way that my step would culminate 
in something untoward. I parted from her in grief, but she 
refused to part from me, and continued to write to me, and to 
visit me in a spirit that negatived the complete disjunction that 
entering into religion is supposed to consummate. 

During my three years of waiting I used from time to time 
revisit Clongowes in order to keep in touch with my old Jesuit 
masters. Most of them knew that I intended to "enter" and they 
were in consequence particularly nice to me, but I found in them 
much less spiritual inspiration than I had hoped for. One day 
while revisiting Clongowes a kindly middle-aged Father took me 
aside for a chat. He was a man who had seen much of the world 
before becoming a Jesuit and he had never lost his natural sincerity 
of heart. "I hear you are going to join us," he said to me. 
"That is so," I answered. "Well," he continued, "I hope you 
will think very carefully before you do so. You are doing very 

308 The Jesuit Enigma 

good work where you are; splendid workj and I doubt if you 
will ever have the same opportunity of doing good in the Society." 
Then looking at me sadly, he added: "You don't realise it, for your 
mind is full of poetic ideas about the Society, but believe me, 
things In the Society are not what they seem to be" 

It was the only time I had received an honest word of warning 
from a Jesuit, and, unfortunately, I did not take it seriously. It 
only served to chill and shock me, and I put it down to a certain 
laxity in the man. 

At business I worked only in a half-hearted way. I was always 
waiting for the great day; the great adventure; the great deliver- 
ance. Through the high windows of my office I could see clouds, 
little else but the clouds. Sometimes they sped swiftly across my 
acreage of heaven, sometimes they moved very slowly. I used 
watch them in pious idleness, thinking that they symbolised the 
movements of the soul towards God. I longed to follow them, 
fondly fancying that they would lead me to the Jesuit Noviceship 
at Tullabeg; to the haven of safety. In the street outside, Thomas 
Street (Dublin), the cars and cabs rattled noisily on the cobbled 
pavement, disturbing me and making me realise with distressing 
vividness that I was still "in the world." This distress intensified 
my resistance to the World and increased my yearning for the 
peace and holiness of religious life. 


It was shortly before entering the Jesuit Noviceship that there 
befell me a second experience, somewhat like the first I had, of 
a strange kind. At the time I was living in a quiet, old-fashioned 
section of Dublin, in the Baggotrath district, in a street up the 
centre of which there was a purposeless cluster of trees. It was 
a very dingy grove of thin, worn trees bereft of sunlight, forgotten 
by all save the city sparrows. The street was dark and lonely, 
almost to the extent of having an ill-omened air about it. On 
one side the houses were large, ungainly and somewhat dilapidated. 
On the other side there were small and fairly neat red-brick 
structures. It was in one of the latter that I was living, and 
from the hall-door there ran a narrow paved passage to a low 
iron gate that opened on the pathway. 

It was about five o'clock in the morning that the experience 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 309 

happened. There had been a severe storm during the night; the 
worst storm that had occurred for many years. Trees, chimneys 
and even houses had been blown down, and torrential rain had 
inundated the city. It was still stormy at five in the morning, 
besides being bitterly cold. 

I had to be at my office at six and had risen earlier than usual, 
anticipating trouble in travelling through the city. With much 
difficulty I opened the hall-door, and when I got outside it closed 
behind me with a bang. Then I looked towards the street, and as 
I did so a feeling of something very strange, something weird, 
came over me. 

Five yards from me, leaning over the low iron gate at the 
end of the passage, and staring mutely at me, was a tall, gaunt, 
pale-faced woman, the same whom I had seen ten years before 
at the churchyard gate. A black ' shawl was thrown over her 
head and she seemed very sad and mournful. While I paused, 
she moved slowly backward and disappeared. This time she 
uttered no cry of sorrow or of warning. 

The Jesuit Noviceship at Tullabeg, where I passed the next 
two years of my life, comprised a long discipline in religious 
emotionalism. There was never a moment free from pious excite- 
ment. The tension of spiritual striving after perfection was kept 
up incessantly, and the novices were taught to regard recreation 
time as well as prayer time as a battlefield of perfection. There 
was a constant simmering and bubbling of fervour, although 
paroxysms were carefully avoided. The Master of Novices and 
his assistant, the Father Socius (Companion), kept goading the 
novices persistently from early morning till late at night, week 
in and week out. There was never a moment when one was left 
alone. There were tests, experiments, public penances, "offices" 
to be fulfilled, bells ringing, hundreds of minute customs to be 
carefully observed, with five minutes at this task and ten minutes 
at that in fine a continual tossing, as though the novices were 
hay and the Master and his Socius haymakers. Internally each 
novice felt see-sawed between "consolation" and "desolation," 
according as the little daily tasks went well or ill. There was 
no possibility of cold, calm reflection, although the Master kept 

310 The Jesuit Enigma 

reiterating tKe suggestion that the novices were acting freely, and 
deliberately, and under the inspiration of grace. 

All were as a matter of fact deeply under suggestion and in 
a semi-hysterical, nervous state. In the morning there was a visit 
to the chapel. An hour's mental prayer followed, then Mass, 
thanksgiving and a further time for reflection before breakfast. 
During the day, besides innumerable short periods for prayer, there 
was spiritual reading; sweeping corridors; washing and dusting; 
scrubbing dishes; collecting leaves; cleaning out hen-houses and 
toilets; writing out spiritual notes; cultivating "spiritual conver- 
sation" during recreation, hurrying, watching, examining one's 
conscience, but never a moment of relaxation or natural peace. 
Tension and spiritual excitement prevailed all the time; it was. a 
hot-house for the forcible production of pious habits and attitudes 
of mind; and the fervour of the most fervent was contagious. 

A few times a week or oftener, when the novices were going 
to bed, a signal was given; an ill-omened signal that made the 
novices' hearts sink; and presently from the dark alcoves came 
the sound of fierce whippings. Each novice, provided with a whip 
of knotted cords, lashed himself with fury. A few times a week 
or oftener each novice wound around his forearm a chain of 
sharp spikes which by rule he had to wear for three or four 
hours at least. Some novices were given "hair-shirts," large pads 
of horsehair which were worn next the skin. They soon became 
greasy with perspiration, and the ordeal of wearing them was not 
inconsiderable. There were, of course, many other forms of 
penance practised in the refectory and elsewhere, and it was the 
aim of every pious novice to deny himself those things which he 
craved for most. In order to maintain his sense of fervour a novice 
had to kee'p pricking and goading himself constantly y as it were 
squeezing 'peace of soul out of 'pain, 

Two years of this unnatural and forced asceticism, as unlike 
the training which Christ gave to his Apostles as could be imagined, 
leaves the Jesuit novice docile, pious, timorous, diffident and 
nervously prone to hysteria. 

One of the worst features in the Jesuit Noviceship training is 
the emphasis on the fear motive. This motive is presented in the 
form of "fear of losing one's vocation," which is painted as the 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 311 

most terrible of evils, a kind of predestination to damnation. The 
danger of dismissal is present as a complex in the sub-conscious 
of every novice, and the slightest sign of disapproval or distrust 
in the Master of Novices is sufficient to paralyse a Jesuit novice 
with terror. I remember on one occasion seeing a novice, a young 
journalist of twenty-four years of age, literally trembling all 
over because the Socius had told him in a sharp voice to call 
another novice. The Latin which he was supposed to use in 
delivering the message almost entirely failed him. The simple 
words, "Pater Socius te vocat" ("Fr. Socius wants you"), fell from 
his trembling lips as "Patri Socio, statim, statim" (meaning, if it 
means anything, "To Fr. Socius immediately, immediately"). 
Meanwhile he was jumping about and almost crying. 

Hysteria appears among the novices in outbursts of uncontrol- 
lable laughter at the most inopportune times, and not unfrequently 
in the chapel, where the strictest decorum is expected. On one 
occasion which comes to my mind, an elderly novice, an Aus- 
tralian, who had been a lawyer before he entered, fell asleep 
in the chapel during evening meditation. It was a warm summer 
evening and his tired eyes could no longer keep open. As he 
slept he dreamed, and his dream must have brought him back 
to some experience of the backwoods, for he seemed to see some 
crawling thing approaching him. "Get away, get away," he 
cried out aloud in the chapel, and began kicking vigorously at 
the bench in front of him. Then the hysterical storm burst and 
the chapel shook with the uncontrollable laughter of the novices. 

The vow morning, to which I referred at the beginning of 
this chapter, came and passed, and I found myself a "junior" in 
the Juniorate, which means a Jesuit student of humanities. There 
awaited me one feverish year of classical studies; Greek and 
Latin; with some English literature. There was a "Master of 
Juniors," of whom I have already spoken, who was supposed to 
teach and direct studies, but who afforded me my first clear insight 
into the make-belief of Jesuit ways. He was utterly inefficient in 
every respect, and indulged to the full his sadistic instinct in nag- 
ging at those under his charge, but he nevertheless enjoyed the 
complete confidence of his Superiors. The 'Juniorate is avowedly 
to prepare young Jesuits for the duty of teaching in the colleges 

3 1 2 The Jesuit Enigma 

which awaits them, but at least in my Juniorate there was not the 
slightest effort to inculcate the art of pedagogy or to give any 
training in teaching. All one could learn about teaching was the 
obvious lesson of avoiding the ways in which our Jesuit exemplar 
master wasted time, and suggested discontent and discouragement. 

The individual juniors, still full of Noviceship fervour, made 
a fierce onslaught on books, and assimilated a heterogenous mass of 
knowledge, undigested and ill-understood. Meanwhile there began 
to appear some faint signs of a recrudescence of human impulses 
so long repressed. There were "particular friendships," and a 
certain promiscuity of reading which did not always avoid what 
savoured of the sensual in the classics and Elizabethan poets. 
When juniors came across asterisks, which marked expurgations 
in the text-books they were reading, they, as often as not, found 
pious pretexts for consulting unexpurgated editions to discover 
what it was all about. 

At Tullabeg both as a novice and a junior I strove in the 
most unequivocal manner to live up to the very highest ideals that 
were put before me. Never once as far as I can remember did I 
deliberately break a rule or custom, and yet when my Juniorate 
was over I found myself distrusted by Superiors. On the eve 
of my departure from Tullabeg I went as was customary to 
seek "the blessing" of the Rector of the House and he refused 
to bestow it upon me. In the eyes of a young Jesuit the Superior's 
blessing is regarded, as it was regarded in the days of Abraham 
and Isaac, as a patriarchal charisma. To be denied a Superior's 
blessing is to be deprived of an overshadowing protection of a 
vague, and possibly superstitious kind. In practice the denial of a 
patriarchal blessing means that one is counted among the sheep 
destined to be lost. Doom and despair are suggested, and I must 
confess that I departed from this vain and unbalanced Superior's 
room with the sense that some evil fate awaited me. For quite 
a little while my soul was darkened by vague fears. 

Some months previously this Superior, an ex-Provincial, had 
given me my first inkling as to the possibility of coarseness and 
brutality in Jesuit internal government. On the eve of being 
sent to Dublin to present myself for a university examination I 
had asked him for permission to visit my mother while in the 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 313 

city. My request was not only reasonable but also a customary 
one to make on such occasions. 

The answer I received when I made my request shocked and 
hurt me to an extent that I fail to find words to describe. "What 
do you want talking to an old woman in a back parlour?" he 
answered. This from a man whom I was supposed to regard as 
Christ! Whose words 'were to be received by me as words from 
the lips of Christ! Who stood in the place of God! How could 
I force my will and judgment to see divinity in such vulgarity 
and coarseness? I fled from his room and found a solitary spot 
in a far corner of the college grounds, and for the first time for 
years bitter tears of shame and remorse filled my eyes. That 
night he sent for me and denied that he had made the remark, 
convincing me thereby that he wasia liar as well as a brute. He 
died a few years later "in the odour of sanctity," regarded by 
many as a saint, and by all as a very great Jesuit, and a brilliant 
authority on the Jesuit Constitutions. 

From Tullabeg I went to Louvain to study philosophy. I found 
the Belgian Jesuits to be simple rough fellows, hard working and 
on the whole intelligent. They were narrow in their views and 
secretive, living in great fear of Superiors. Like every other Jesuit 
Province, they regarded their Province as embodying the true spirit 
of the Order, in contradistinction to other Provinces. They had 
the idea that all the "anglais" (i.e. t English-speaking foreigners) 
were lazy, and they were surprised at the industry that I displayed. 
Soon they gave me the credit of being "un travailleur acharne" 
(a terrific worker), and were not a little edified by my ascetical 
practices. In my vanity I was striving to show what an Irish 
Jesuit was capable of, and to keep the. flag of my Province flying. 

While following the full course of Scholastic Psychology and 
Philosophy in the Jesuit college, I studied privately for my degree 
in the National University, Ireland, and returned for the degree 
examination in Dublin in 1909, securing the first place and first 
class honours. The Provincial was so pleased with this success 
that he allowed me to spend an extra year at Louvain, and as a 
result I was enabled to take an excellent course in Experimental 
Psychology at the Institut Su-perieur at Louvain and to get my 
Doctorate in virtue of a thesis on the psychology of the choice act. 

314 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

This thesis, Motive Force and Motivation Tracks* attracted 
a good deal of attention in scientific papers and was much praised 
both for its originality and the precision of its method. Professor 
Spearman, Grote Professor of London University, described it as 
"an experimental investigation of very remarkable value, showing 
much power of research," and I received requests from psychologists 
in Spain, France and Germany for permission to translate it. I 
found myself thus in 1911 with degrees in two universities and 
author of a scientific work of recognised merit, and realised that 
through personal effort I had realised one of my dreams-. 

There was another dream that I cherished of a totally different 
kind, which I tried hard but in vain to realise. I had become in- 
terested in Japan and in the Jesuit efforts to build up a Catholic 
University in Tokio. It seemed to me that a very great future 
was in store for the Japanese people, and that the prosperity of 
the Catholic Church would be bound up with the destiny of that 
clever, progressive race. I knew that a Jesuit psychologist would 
be required for the contemplated university, and I dreamed of filling 
that post. I wrote several times to the Superior of the Japanese 
Mission, and interested him in my dream. I prayed hard, too, and 
when Fr. Ledochowski, the present Jesuit General, came to Belgium 
as a Visitator of the Province I tried to get him to espouse my 
cause. In fine, I did everything humanly possible to consummate 
the sacrifice of myself for the cause of Christ, but nothing came 
of my efforts. 

In 1911 I returned to my own Province and found that I was 
appointed to teach at my old school, Clongowes Wood. In what I 
now regard as a childish way, I anticipated that some appreciation 
would be shown of the work I had done at Louvain. I still had 
the idea of the Society as a family, where the members love one 
another and are interested in one another, and are anxious to co- 
operate with one another, but what a disappointment I received! 
I found that my "thesis" was regarded as a good joke, and my 
degrees as a "publicity stunt," an effort to gain notoriety. It was 
openly hinted that by clever wire-pulling I had escaped a year's 
teaching and had had a fine time travelling around the Continent. 

i Published, 1911, by Longmans Green & Co., London. 

"From Dreams to Disillusionment 315 

It was my first clear intimation of the cynicism and jealousy 
that is rampant among members of the Order. There awaited 
me, too, another, and what seemed to me at the time, appalling 
catastrophe. The Provincial sent for me and informed me that he 
had received a very grave letter from the Provincial of the New 
York Province, enclosing a criticism of my book by a very learned 
American Jesuit who was of opinion that it was dangerous and 
heretical and that it should be suppressed at once. "But," I said, 
"my MS. was submitted to the Jesuit Censors at Louvain, and they 
authorised publication." "That does not matter," replied the 
Provincial. "You must stop the sale of your book at once and I 
will refer the whole matter to Rome. It is a very grave matter." 
The Provincial had of course taken no pains to read my book, or 
even to understand the puerile criticism of the American Jesuit Pro- 
fessor. He decided, as most Jesuit Superiors do, on the side of 
caution and personal safety. Many months later the decision came 
from Rome to the effect that the American Professor did not under- 
stand what experimental psychology was, and that his criticism was 

r*i r*i M f*i 

I spent three years as a Master at Clongowes. They were happy 
years from one point of view, but they were years of disillusionment. 
As a boy I had seen the front of the tapestry. I was now to see the 
back, and to live behind the tapestry. The glamour of Clongowes 
I found to be much like the glamour of shop windows. Clongowes 
was run on hard business lines financially, while educationally it 
was run in a most unbusiness-like and disorganised way. The Mas- 
ters were untrained, incompetent for the most part, and tempera- 
mentally unsuited to teaching. The, rights of the boys to good 
education for the good money that was paid for them were dis- 
regarded. There was a great deal of jealousy and squabbling in 
the community, and little or no co-operation. There was complete 
indifference to educational theory, and each Master was content 
to "put in" his number of hours in the classroom as best he could, 
without the least preoccupation about educational ideals. The great 
object was to "carry on," "to keep the ball rolling," and each 
Master looked forward eagerly to the day when he would escape 
the hideous grind of schoolmastering. Of professional spirit there 

316 The Jesuit "Enigma 

was none. Material results were of course carefully looked to. 
Inspectors who came from time to time to look over the college 
on behalf of the Government were entertained in princely fashion 
while the seamy side of things was concealed from them. Bogus 
cheques were issued to Jesuit Masters by the Superior, to be receipted 
and at once torn up, so that claims might be set up for Government 
grants; or rather Government bonuses to salaried, teachers. Jesuits 
sworn to poverty posed regularly as "salaried teachers" in order to 
secure these bonuses! 

Meanwhile at Clongowes outrageous snobbery was displayed. 
Rich and fashionable visitors were made much of, while humbler 
folk were more or less ignored and pushed aside. In spite of the 
national boycott against the military forces that were occupying 
the country in the interests of England, the college authorities, to 
please the pro-British element in Dublin, used to invite the military 
to Clongowes on every available occasion. They were invited to 
play cricket and football with the boys; and it was a military 
band that was called upon for the big reunion festivities each 
summer. Meanwhile no Irish patriot was ever allowed to address 
the boys, nor were any Irish games allowed until a much later 
date. The ideal of the Clongowes education was utterly un- 
national; it was the training of boys to be of service, not to their 
own country, but to the country that held Ireland in thraldom. 
Clongowes, during the period when I was a boy and later when I 
was a Master, was reeking with snobbery, and with a kind of 
"worldliness" that was almost entirely absent from other Irish 

While a Master I threw myself whole-heartedly into the work of 
teaching. I was fortunate in having a few classes of very brilliant 
boys, and the successes they achieved in the public examinations were 
very remarkable. My practical method of teaching was based on 
suggesting interest, and in awakening a love of learning for its 
own sake. Many of my boys read widely in history and literature, 
and wrote prolifically on all kinds of topics. During the three 
years I was teaching them, they won practically all the medals and 
prizes that were offered for public competition in history and 
literature, and some of them have since distinguished themselves 
as litterateurs. I felt a close bond of affection tying me to my 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 317 

pupils, and sensed the happiness that is possible in a teacher's life. 
I was not yet sufficiently disillusioned with the Society to feel upset 
when several of my best pupils entered the Novitiate, but looking 
back now on those times, I deeply regret that I was not at the 
time competent to put before them an analysis of Jesuitism. 

With the co-operation of another young Jesuit, who shortly after- 
wards left the Society in disgust, I tried to counteract the snobbery 
of Clongowes' education by awakening among the students an in- 
terest in Irish history and Irish traditions. We organised Irish 
concerts; debates on Irish questions; and undertook propaganda 
work for the Irish language. I was able to found a Social Study 
Club among the boys, and a Social Service Club in Dublin among 
the alumni. The latter enterprise was begun on a big scale, and 
developed rapidly. It was a dream-creation of my heart, and I 
was thrilled to see old Clongowes men, entertaining and amusing 
hundreds of poor Dublin street-urchins in the evenings, in a 
spacious house they had rented for the purpose. Shortly afterwards 
I was forbidden to co-operate any further with the undertaking. 

During my time at Clongowes I published another book; a 
practical book on the training of character. It was called Strength 
of Will. 2 Superiors had at first consigned this book to the waste- 
paper basket, but they were glad afterwards that they had not done 
so, for they received considerable cheques twice yearly for some years 
as a result of its publication. 


It may interest some to know what are the financial relations 
between a Jesuit and the Order, how far a particular Jesuit may 
hope to secure a material benefit from the Order, say, for one of 
his relatives. I think that an experience of my own will help to 
clarify this matter. 

My family had for three generations been students at Clongowes, 
that is, since the opening of Clongowes. When the fourth gen- 

2 Publ. by Kennedy, New York, 1915. Joyce Kilmer, who reviewed this 
book for the New York Times, wrote : "It is therefore a fortunate thing that 
Dr. Boyd Barrett is using his scentific aptitude and his trained mind in the 
service of this weighty subject. He writes with singular clarity and un- 
doubted authority. There is no doubt that Dr. Boyd Barrett has made a 
valuable contribution to the fascinating science of psychology. And further- 
more he has provided a text-book which cannot be read carefully by any one 
without genuine and readily recognisable benefit." 

318 The Jesuit Enigma 

eration came of age for school, my sister-in-law found herself 
unable to pay the full college fees for her two boys and she wrote 
to me to ask me to try to obtain a reduction in their case. I received 
a pointblank refusal from the Rector of Clongowes. However, I 
arranged a compromise and undertook to reimburse the Rector for 
any reduction he made, by allotting to him part of my property 
when I should make my last vows and my renunciation of property. 
To this he agreed. But when finally his bill reached me on the 
eve of my "renunciation" I found that he had added on a tax of 
six per cent (i.e., more than the current money rate of the day), and 
that he was charging this rate of percentage on fees as payable in 
advance, from the first day that my nephews entered Clongowes. 
Things of this kind were slowly but surely opening my eyes to 
the fact that I was destined to spend my days in an organisation 
that was hard and selfish, little influenced as I had thought by 
"the interior law of charity and love," but much influenced by 
economic and purely worldly motives. I began to wonder, after 
my experiences of Clongowes, if all was well with the Society, and 
if it was what it pretended to be. Had I been deceived in entering 
the Society? Was it to Jesuitism, which I now was beginning to 
understand, that I had made my vows? The future began to look 
less and less roseate. 


From Clongowes I was sent to study theology for four years 
at a Jesuit seminary called Milltown Park; a valuable property of 
forty acres, in the wealthiest district of Dublin. The building is of 
granite, ungainly and repulsive; its frigid austerity typifying the 
spirit that abides within its walls. 

I entered Milltown Parkrstill clinging to hope; I left it with my 
ideal of the Society of Jesus shattered. 



Milltown Park was once more a place of waiting; every young 
Jesuit was waiting to get out of it as an ordained priest. Tullabeg 

. "From "Dreams to Disillusionment 319 

had been a place of waiting, waiting for vows; Louvain had been 
a place of waiting, waiting for the colleges; at Clongowes I had 
found likewise that all the young Jesuits were waiting to get to 
theology, to Milltown Park; was there any phase of a Jesuit's 
life, I asked myself, wherein one could settle down content? Why 
was there so much of postponed hope about the Order? 

The chief occupation at Milltown Park was the study of Theol- 
ogy, along the old scholastic lines of thesis and disputation. 
Theology was divided up into dogmatic theology, moral theology, 
church history, Scripture and canon law. The courses were given 
in Latin, and the text-books were likewise in Latin. Except when 
moral cases were discussed there was nothing modern, or vital, 
touched upon. All was dry as dust, and the professors might have 
been reincarnations of mediaeval scholastic teachers. They showed 
no knowledge of or interest in the trends of thought of the times. 
There was a complete "out-of-touchness" about their scholarship, 
and no recent difficulties against religion, originating in modern 
science and historical research into the origins of religion, were 
dealt with. For four years we were conducted through archives 
of ancient lore, mostly Jesuit lore, and we found ourselves after 
all was over with a book knowledge of our own religion, and no 
insight whatsoever into any other religion. The Jesuit professors 
of Milltown had apparently a supreme contempt for modern re- 
search and modern Bible criticism. They regarded theology as 
being a fixed and completed science which could not be over- 
thrown and which could not be perfected. It never entered their 
heads to discuss the psychology of the tenets, symbols, ceremonies, 
dogmas and mystical experiences of religion, or to explain the 
existence of contradictory trends of thought and conduct in the 
Bible, and in the Church. 

The atmosphere of a barracks was strongly marked in Milltown 
Park. There was a tenseness and moroseness about everything, and 
there were periods when the whole community seemed to be plunged 
in gloom. Superiors were hard and ill-tempered; there were severe 
penalties attached to trivial departures from rule; and professors 
were looked upon with fear and dislike because they indiscrimi- 
nately "failed" men in the theological examinations, thus creating 
a general feeling of uncertainty and worry. It is not easy to de- 

320 The Jesuit Enigma 

scribe intelligibly the spirit of Milltown Park, save perhaps by 
likening it to a market where business is poor; where no buyer 
gets what he wants; where no seller disposes of his wares satis- 
factorily; and where there is a great deal of unpleasant quarrelling 
and wrangling. Some of the Jesuit students, anxious to become 
Professed Fathers, worked furiously at theology, and played up 
to the professors so as to win their favour. Others took things 
very easily and did not begin to work until the examinations loomed 
in sight. The examination period was a period of feverish excite- 
ment, and extreme tension, and not a few of the students became 
nervous and hysterical. 

It is hard to understand the need for allowing so much ugliness 
and unpleasantness in a religious house devoted to imparting a 
knowledge of the divine mysteries of religion, to men who were 
consecrated by vow to live a life of perfection. A spirit of sweet- 
ness, peace and charity would have been more becoming, and more 
in accordance with the principles of Christ. But the hard, mailed- 
fisted method of absolutism, inseparable from Jesuit organisation, 
was bound to appear, and needless to say it played havoc with the 
possibility of serious study. How different the Jesuit conception 
of a school from that of Plato or Socrates! 

There was a great deal of favouritism shown by Superiors at 
Milltown Park and the under-dog Jesuits had very hard times. 
Some were allowed many privileges and others were allowed none 
at all. I began to find my sympathies going more and more to the 
side of the under-dogs, who were harassed and penalised, and im- 
perceptibly I began in a small way to be a rebel to rules. This 
change came over me as a result of repeated experiences of the 
insincerity and partiality erf Superiors, and the cynical disregard 
that they displayed for honest, human ethics. 

In my adventurous breaches of discipline I was frequently caught, 
and I felt hurt by the manner, often contemptuous, in which repri- 
mands and penances were given. One Superior in particular, a 
very clever, pious but uncultured little man, took it into his head 
that the best way of working out my perfection was by "breaking 
my will." He proceeded forthwith to carry out his purpose. He 
watched me assiduously and whenever he discovered the slightest 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 321 

irregularity in my conduct he sent for me and discoursed with great 
bitterness thereon. 

On one occasion he noticed that the light was burning in my 
room after hours. It was about eleven o'clock at night. My light 
should have been out at a quarter to eleven. My room was in a 
corridor and there were other lights burning at the time, but he 
chose me as a victim to be sacrificed to the rule-God. He knocked 
at my door sharply, and before I had time to say "Come in," he 

"You are up," he said in his squeaky voice, "and you are not 
in bed!" I rose from my chair respectfully without saying any- 
thing. "And your light is burning," he added, looking at me 
angrily. Then he sniffed the air. "You are smoking, too," he 
continued, "smoking at this time of the night!" 

I was about thirty-three years of age at the time and an ordained 
priest, but in his eyes I had no right to do the little things it pleased 
me to do, even in the privacy of my own room. I was ready to 
admit that it was a technical breach of rule, though of a rule that 
no one observed, to have my light burning after hours, but I did 
not consider there was any additional guilt in smoking, as I had 
full permission to smoke. I had received from the Provincial what 
was called "a smoker's licence." So I answered my Superior that 
I had not been sleeping well of late and that I found that to smoke 
before going to bed helped me to sleep. "That is a childish ex- 
cuse," he cried, "put out your light at once and come to see me in 
the morning." 

In the morning I came to him to hear "the voice of God," for 
Jesuit Superiors insist on the maxim, "Who hears you, hears Me" 
(Qui vos audit, Me audit). For nearly an hour this angry, vulgar 
little man poured forth his personal spleen and venom in language 
so unrefined, that football coaches, had they heard him, would have 
envied his fluency and his vocabulary. 

I listened without saying a word. Often before I had had the 
same kind of experience, listening to the thunderings of an outraged 
manikin- Jehovah. I had come to recognise and classify the phe- 
nomenon as an explosion-reaction, inevitably provoked in a Jesuit 
Superior, deified by the Jesuit Constitutions, by any sign of inde- 
pendence in a subject. It was the anger of the tribal-god, berating 

322 * The Jesuit JLwigma 

some presumptuous follower who neglected to kiss the ground 
before him. 

"The Jesuit rule throughout" writes Fr. Pollen, S.J. 8 "is one 
of love inspired by wisdom^ and it must be interpreted in the spirit 
of charity which animates it. This is especially true of its 'pro- 
visions for the affectionate relations of Superiors with Subjects and 
with one another. ..." 

My spirit was well-nigh broken by the four years of repression 
and tension at Milltown Park. Many Jesuits before me had col- 
lapsed under the strain, and there were some cases of attempted 
suicide within its walls. I myself had seen mature men crying 
hysterically over their fate, and I heard more groans of anguish 
and despair among Jesuit students of that Jesuit college than I 
ever heard elsewhere. It was therefore with no small relief that 
I finally quitted it, going for a year of service as a Master to the 
Jesuit college at Galway. 

Here at last, for the first time since I entered the Order, I found 
an opportunity for rest, and for intercourse with people outside the 
Society. The Jesuit college in Galway was isolated socially and 
geographically from the rest of the Province. Its discipline was 
not excessively strict, and the Community lived in harmony, with- 
out interfering with one another. No one seemed disposed to exer- 
cise the duty of denouncing his brother Jesuit, and the absence of 
coercion and repression made life wholesome and happy. The 
little school was far from being a success, but the church was fairly 
well managed and sufficed to support the Community. There was 
much coming and going of externs and every Jesuit had friends 
outside to call upon. The fisher-folk around Galway were Irish 
speakers, and I set myself to learn Irish, and to read for the first 
time Gaelic Literature. In this I was helped in the kindest way 
by some members of the Community, and I found to my delight 
that co-operation was possible in the Society when internal govern- 
ment was in abeyance. 

The learning of Irish was not looked upon favourably by the 
higher Superiors in Dublin, as it manifested sympathy with the 
8 Catholic Encyclopedia. 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 323 

national movement, and national ideals. But they could not wholly 
prevent it, and satisfied themselves with penalising in indirect ways 
the more ardent pro-Gaels, sending some of them to Australia, where 
they would have no further opportunity of speaking Irish. 

My pleasant and healthy year at Galway, that picturesque old 
capital of Western Ireland, passed away all too soon, and I found 
myself on the road for Tullabeg once more, where I, with about 
twenty others, was to finish my spiritual training in the Society, 
with the one-year final Noviceship, the school of <perfection y called 
the "Tertianship." The object of the Tertianship is to give Jesuit 
priests, who have completed all their studies, an opportunity of 
renewing their "first fervour," by a year of prayer, devotional read- 
ing, retreat, study of the Jesuit Constitutions, and other exercises 
of piety. The Tertianship is supposed by ascetical writers to prove 
Ignatius' wonderful insight into the' laws ruling spiritual progress 
and development. 

One can readily enough admit that the Tertianship may suit the 
spiritual needs of some, and that if it were optional to make it or not 
to make it, according as the individual soul felt that he would be 
helped by it or not, it would haVe been an admirable institution. 
But Ignatius spoiled his own conception by his fetish of uniformity. 
He made the Tertianship compulsory on all, whether they liked to 
make it or not. All had to drink at this supposed spiritual fountain 
whether thirsty or not. The result Was disgust in those who were 
not thirsty, and rebellion against constraint in those who were. 

The Jesuit priests who were with me at the Tertianship were 
all mature men, who could no longer be coaxed and cajoled like 
novices. T^hey, one and all, resented the system of forcible feeding 
of spirituality, and developed considerable bitterness during this 
period of enforced inaction. They were sick to death of the 
Tertianship before two of the ten months were passed, and they 
sought in every direction for means of killing time. Newspapers, 
which were of course forbidden, were eagerly sought for, and 
even a paper three days old was counted a priceless treasure, and 
read from beginning to end. 

The Tertian-Master was an English Jesuit, elderly, a perfect 
gentleman, but of very mediocre ability, and utterly incapable of 
teaching the Constitutions. He was exceedingly pious and edifying, 

324 The Jesuit Enigma 

but bereft of any skill in the psychology of asceticism. He did his 
best to keep up the appearance of the Tertianship being a school of 
'perfection, but he doubtless knew that the chief topics of conversa-r 
tion among his disciples were items of political news surreptitiously 
acquired, and the physical charms of some of the young novices 
whom the Tertians used see in the refectory and about the grounds 
and for whom they found "pet" names. 

I had read in Jesuit books of the wonders of the Tertianship, 
and now on close acquaintance I found it to be, like every other 
Jesuit institution, a mockery and a sham. The Noviceship had 
proved to be, not a school of virtue but of piety; the Juniorate had 
been as far removed from a school of humanities as could be im- 
agined; the Jesuit colleges that I had seen were cramming institu- 
tions where large fees were taken for the poorest kind of education; 
the theologate at Milltown Park I had found to be antiquated and 
destructive of spirit and initiative; and now I was in a "school of 
perfection" that was the biggest fraud of all. Where was one to 
look for the greatness of the Jesuit Order? Where was the golden 
fruit on which the heroes of old had fed? Had not decay, wide- 
spread and deep, come upon the once alert and efficient Society of 

During the Tertianship each Jesuit is supposed to receive a 
"Speculum" (an image of himself), showing the faults of his 
character, and his chief defects as a Jesuit. The "Speculum" is 
looked forward to with interest. It is sent to the Tertian-Master 
from Rome, and is compiled from reports (secret reports) sent 
in about each Jesuit, twice yearly or more often, from the day of 
his entrance into the Order. 

The "Speculum" is a self-protective measure that the Order takes 
vis-a-vis of the individual Jesuit. If subsequently the Order decides 
to postpone the individual's final vows, and to refuse him final ad- 
mission into the Society, it can point to the "Speculum" and say: 
"There is a fault officially pointed out to you in your 'Speculum' that 
you have not corrected and now you may not make your last vows." 

My "Speculum," as handed to me by the Tertian-Master, was 
exceedingly vague. It hinted at a lack of respect towards Superiors, 
and at a certain independence of character unbecoming a religious. 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 325 

It supplied no useful analysis of this "evil" in my character, nor 
did it suggest any manner of amending it. 

One painful memory of the Teitianship lingers in my mind. It 
occurred at one of the dullest periods of the year when every one 
was depressed. The kind old Tertian-Master had exhausted his 
limited strength in trying to smooth over difficulties and to render 
the life of the Tertians less intolerable. He got run-down and 
nervous, and his collapse took a curious form. He had come into 
the hall where the Tertians were assembled to give his instruction 
on the Jesuit Constitutions, but instead of treating of this subject 
he began to recount a series of amusing anecdotes of a rather broad 
flavour. Believing that his stories were being appreciated, he went 
further afield, culminating in a story that markedly violated con- 
ventions. Then he collapsed. Such was the anti-climax to Ignatius' 
"school of perfection." : 


From the Tertianship I was sent for a two years' course of special 
study in biology and psychology to London University. This privi- 
lege, which I valued very highly, was called a "biennium," and is 
only given to such as are trustworthy and who give promise of 
making a profitable use of the opportunity given them. I was 
naturally very pleased at the prospect of pursuing my favourite 
studies, and I resolved to make the most of the time allotted to me. 
I threw myself into the university life with ardour, and before 
long I was taking an active part in the college Academies. I was 
privileged to deliver an address on "Vitalism" before the assembled 
graduates and under-graduates, in a public debate that had been 
arranged between myself and the famous chemist, Professor 
Donnan. I also read a paper before the British Psychological 
Society, and delivered a course of lectures at Cambridge. I began 
to undertake psycho-analytic work and to lecture and write on 
psycho-therapy, and before long a large number of clergymen, 
Jesuits included, were coming to consult me about their nerves. 

A new dream, my last dream as a Jesuit, began to take shape in 
my mind. I had come to realise, owing to an increased knowledge 
of the working of convents and monasteries, that the strain of 
religious life was causing a great many "break-downs," and I 
found that in most cases nervous religious were left without any 

' ' * 

326 The Jesuit Enigma 

adequate treatment or direction. Many were ashamed to explain 
their difficulties to medical doctors, especially when moral matters 
were involved, and ordinary priests, who had no skill in neurology, 
were unable to help them. I saw that there was a great field for 
good work in helping scrupulous and nervous priests and nuns, 
and I dreamed of opening up this field. I wrote several articles 
in Catholic papers on the new methods of mind-healing, and from 
the correspondence that I received I recognised how much these 
articles were appreciated. But was it in harmony with a priest's 
vocation to practise mind-healing? Would my Superiors allow me 
to do this kind of work? Would they maintain the old attitude 
that the Confessional was the place for psycho-therapy, and that 
Confession was the sufficient remedy for all "diseases of the im- 
agination," as they were called? 

While at London University, studying hard, writing, lecturing, 
and at the same time doing a great deal of Apostolic work, I re- 
ceived one of those ill-timed, stunning blows that Jesuit Superiors 
know so well how to deal. I had reached the period when I was 
entitled to make my last vows, and thus acquire a certain stability 
of standing in the Order. Like a bolt from the blue came a letter 
from my Provincial telling me that my vows were postponed by 
the General. Such a postponement is one of the formal official 
declarations of distrust recognised by the Jesuit Constitutions. It is 
perhaps the greatest one of all. I wondered what it meant. Why 
had the Order decided, after I had given it sixteen years of strenu- 
ous service; after I had given it the best portion of my life, that I 
should be proclaimed a "black sheep" among my brethren? I wrote 
to demand reasons, as I was entitled to do, and as answer I received 
an equivocal letter, telling me that I had been lacking in obedience 
that I had been "reported" for speaking against "high ecclesiasti- 
cal dignitaries," but there was not the slightest hint of any serious 
fault. The speaking against "high ecclesiastical dignitaries" meant 
no more than that in private conversation with other Jesuits, I 
had frankly declared my opinion (on, I suppose, various occasions) 
of the cowardly attitude of some Irish Bishops during the National 
Revolt in Ireland. But who was there who did not criticise 
Bishops in those days? 

From this moment onwards the Society acted towards me as 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 327 

though I were an embarrassment. True, my last vows were grudg- 
ingly accorded me a couple of years later, but by that time it was a 
matter of indifference to me whether they were granted or not. 
The Order meanwhile began to show its dislike for my work in 
psycho-therapy and psycho-analysis. Articles I wrote were ruth- 
lessly rejected by Jesuit Censors for the most childish reasons. One 
Censor rejected an article, and gave as his reason for so doing, that 
he could not find books on psycho-analysis in the book-shops in 
Dublin! Another Censor objected to my quoting non-Catholic 
psychologists. The Provincial and his staff, on another occasion 
having allowed me to begin a series of articles on the New Psy- 
chology in a Catholic review, refused to allow me to continue the 
series until I submitted all the articles together, as though it were a 
book that was to be published. Jesuits in England, however, wel- 
comed most of the articles that the ! Irish Jesuits had rejected, and 
published them at once. 

When my two years of special study in biology and psychology 
at London University were finished, my Provincial showed his ap- 
preciation of these sciences by sending me to teach .spelling, reading 
and recitation to little country boys in an out of the way village 
in Ireland. It is true that I also had to teach, for a few hours a 
week, a little philosophy to seminarians, but my chief work was to 
teach reading and spelling. To this I submitted for two years, 
but I felt, as time wore on, less and less faith in the wisdom of 
allowing myself to be trifled with and insulted at the whim of 
every pseudo-mystical Superior. Nevertheless, I continued to work 
hard, teaching longer hours than any other Master in the college, 
giving consultations to priests and Jesuits suffering from nerve 
troubles who came to me, answering a large correspondence, and 
finishing my book The New Psychology. As I knew that this 
work would be rejected by Irish Jesuits, I sent it to America, hoping 
that American Jesuits would be more broad-minded and understand- 
ing. They, however, held it up for nearly eighteen months and 
then decided that unless I added fulsome praise of scholastic psy- 
chology, and omitted certain perfectly innocuous passages, it could 
not be published. Having submitted to these humiliating and stupid 
conditions, I published the work, and within a week the first edition 

328 The Jesuit 'Enigma 

was sold out. It apparently satisfied a need that the Catholic public 
of America had felt for a frank description of the new methods 
of mind-healing written in an open-minded tolerant manner. 

My Provincial had meanwhile written to me as follows (July 
22, 1924) : "Would you like to go to New York for two years? 
Fr. Kelly, the Provincial, would, I think, be able to set you at work 
that would be congenial to you ; he and I discussed the matter when 
at Rome." I answered at once that I should like to go on condition 
that I should be given work that was congenial. He answered, 
July 25: "I shall send a line to Fr. Kelly to ask him to give you 
facilities for your special work." 

' * - 

During all my years in the Society my mother had kept in 
constant touch with me. She had visited me in the Noviceship; 
had come to Louvain on a few occasions to see me ; and had done 
everything that a kind and understanding mother could do to 
render my time at Milltown Park less unendurable. She seemed 
to sense at an early date that life in the Society was not what it 
ought to be, and in her own wilful but affectionate way she tried to 
make up from outside for the lack of kindness that Jesuit Superiors 
showed. It was a touching, an amusing, an astonishing display of a 
mother's understanding. And what was particularly sweet about her 
conduct was that she deemed it her duty to be as helpful as she 
could to all other young Jesuits that she knew had the same kind of 
life to face that I had. She managed to smuggle in newspapers and 
reviews, to myself and my friends. She used to arrive at destinations 
where I and my Jesuit friends would terminate our walks on free 
days, never failing to carry with her a basket of tempting edibles 
and cigarettes. She did not dream of criticising either the Society's 
Superiors or the pretty obvious defections from strict rule that I 
and my friends were guilty of. She was content to play her 
strangely pious but disturbing part of a fairy-godmother to suffering 
Jesuits. And what irony there is in human fate! One of the 
Jesuits that enjoyed her hospitality in her hotel at Louvain, and 
who was most appreciative of her human spirituality, was destined 
to be the Provincial who finally did more than any other Superior 
to force me to part company with the Order. It was hard for me 
not to contrast the Christian goodness of my mother with the artifi- 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 329 

cial and often repulsive holiness of the exemplary followers of Saint 
Ignatius, and I could never fail to see far more of Christ in her 
than in them. Finally, when I quitted the Order, it was no small 
solace to my spiritual yearnings to know that my. mother approved 
of what I had done, and yet she had been proud of having a son a 
Jesuit ! What a sublet and curious, but understandable, inconsistency ! 

Shortly before I left Ireland for America there was an unex- 
pected interruption of plans. A vacancy had occurred in Galway 
University in the Educational Department, and some members of 
the Professorial Staff suggested to the Jesuits that I should offer 
myself for the Chair. On account of my writings on modern 
psychology, my experience in education, and my University degrees, 
my candidature would have been very acceptable to the Faculty. 
The Jesuit "Editor of Studies" took the matter up with the Pro- 
vincial on my behalf, and obtained' his approval of my presenting 
myself for the post. 

My mother and relatives were delighted at the prospect of my 
being a professor at Galway University, as they had heard some 
rumours of my being sent to America and were greatly distressed 
thereat. Everything was looking well, as regards my candidature, 
when suddenly my Superiors changed their minds and I was in- 
formed that I was not to go forward for the post. A futile pre- 
text was put forward as the reason for this change. For me it was 
another tragic instance of the ways of Jesuit Superiors. 

Had I been allowed to accept this professorship at Galway I 
should have been in a position to do good service for my country 
and incidentally for the Order, and it is more than likely that the 
drastic. step of quitting the Order would not have been forced upon 
me as it subsequently was. 

I have mentioned above that I made it clear to my Provincial 
that I was accepting the choice he offered me of coming to America 
on condition that I should get facilities for my work in psychology 
and psycho-therapy. It was on that understanding that I agreed to 
leave Ireland. The bait, of having "facilities for my special 
work," "work that was congenial," was held out to me by my Pro- 
vincial and without sufficient reflection I snapped at that bait. I have 
since heard that he had a deep purpose in his mind. He had come to 

330 The Jesuit Enigma 

see that a quarrel between myself and the Order was inevitable and 
he did not want it to take place in Ireland where I was very well 
known and where my cause would have received very strong support 
from outside quarters. He had realised that many priests and 
Catholic laymen in Ireland were exceedingly anxious to have psycho- 
analysis Catholicised and made available for them, and that they 
were looking to me to undertake this work. And my Provincial 
knew quite well that if I should break with the Order in Ireland on 
the grounds that it was hopelessly reactionary and benighted as re- 
gards modern mental science, much harm would accrue to the Society 
in Ireland. Hence very astutely he decided to shift the battle be- 
tween myself and the Order to a large country in which I was prac- 
tically unknown. It was a small matter to him that he used decep- 
tion in so doing. 

The value of the promise given me by my Provincial was dis- 
closed to me on my arrival in New York. Instead of getting 
"facilities for my special work" in New York, I was informed that 
I was to go to Georgetown University, Washington, D, C., to teach 
sociology. About sociology I knew absolutely nothing, and I had 
no training whatsoever in it. I saw too late that I had been de- 
ceived by my \ Superior. 

There was, however, the possibility of a mistake having been 
made, so I proceeded to Georgetown and interviewed the acting 
Dean, Fr. Edmund Walsh, S.J. There was no mistake. I was 
not to teach psychology or psycho-therapy but I was to be Professor 
of Sociology. I told the Dean that I knew nothing whatsoever 
about sociology. He said that that did not matter, that I would be 
able to carry on. I asked him was not Georgetown a University, 
and expressed surprise that a. University should appoint a professor 
to a chair in a science about which he was absolutely ignorant. 
Since then I have realised more fully that in Jesuit Universities 
scientific knowledge is not a sine qua non in a professor. At the 
last moment the Dean gave way, and said he would make other 
arrangements for the Chair of Sociology. For the p-esent I should 
be required to teach cathecism and nothing else, but later on in the 
year a short course of psychology might be arranged for me. So I 
found myself, therefore, after my long journey from Ireland, 
undertaken in order to find congenial work, put to teach cathecism 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 331, 

through the medium of a badly written translation, of a narrow- 
minded German Jesuit's treatise on the Catholic Faith. 

I was not allowed .to practise psycho-therapy or psycho-analysis. 
I was told by the Jesuit President of Georgetown that a Benedictine 
priest, Fr. Moore, had opened a clinic to practise psycho-analysis 
and that it had been closed by ecclesiastical authorities. A few 
days later I found Fr. Moore, and discovered that his clinic was 
not only not closed but was flourishing. When I reported this to 
the President of Georgetown and renewed my request, he discov- 
ered some other pretext for refusing me. 

Meanwhile Fr. Tierney, S.J., the Editor of the Jesuit weekly 
America had written to ask me for a series of articles on the new 
psychology. I sent him six and he was so pleased with them that he 
asked me to send him some more. He began to publish my articles 
on December 13, 1924. On January 26, following, he wrote to 
me. "I should like to have a talk with you. Frankly (don't worry 
about this), the conservatives of the house which gave you trouble 
before are after me 'hot and heavy' and through the Provincial 
forsooth!" This letter meant that the Jesuit reactionaries who had 
tried to prevent the publication of my book, The New Psychology* 
had now drawn their swords against Fr. Tierney on account of his 
action in publishing my articles in America. They were making a 
cat's-paw of the pious but incompetent Provincial and stirring him 
up against Fr. Tierney. For the time being, Fr. Tierney was able 
to hold his own against their intrigues, but on February 5, he wrote 
me as follows: "May I not say that there is an interesting develop- 
ment in regard to your articles? Yesterday I received a ukase from 
the Rt. Rev., or Very Rev., or Reverend Provincial ordering me to 
suspend all further articles. This case is interesting for many 
reasons and will prove in the future more interesting still." 

I believe that Fr. Tierney contested the Provincial's jurisdiction 
over America", however, before he could refer the matter to Rome 
he fell suddenly ill and had to resign his editorship. 5 The publica- 

4 Publ. by Kennedy, New York. 

e One of the staff of America, wrote me the following mysterious 
note, shortly after the sudden illness of Fr. Tierney: "There are many 
things about which I would like to talk to you at this moment, but the 
most important questions cannot be discussed by letter. Keep up your 
good fight and don't worry no matter what you hear." 

332 The Jesuit Enigma 

tion of the articles was at once suspende'd. No word of explanation 
was offered to me, nor was any effort made to protect my name 
against the imputation of unorthodoxy which this drastic stoppage 
of my articles implied. America continued to pursue its course of 
dealing out Catholic doctrine of a kind that would be inoffensive 
to watchful Jesuit reactionaries. 

Meanwhile my MSS. were not returned to me nor was payment 
offered for them, even after I left the Society. My letters to the 
Editor asking for payment or the return of the articles were ignored. 
Finally, I laid this matter before His Eminence Cardinal Hayes and 
notified the Jesuit Provincial that I had done so. Only then did I 
receive a cheque in payment for my articles. The cheque which I 
received was 'predated by a few months, which detail I interpreted 
as an interesting little example of the holy prudence and "guileless- 
ness" of the Society. 

I was next invited by the authorities of Fordham University to 
deliver a course of public lectures on the "New Psychology" during 
Lent, each Sunday afternoon, at the Jesuit Public Hall in West 
Sixteenth Street. All arrangements were duly made, permissions re- 
ceived, and the Lectures were widely advertised. Already tickets had 
been sold, when the Provincial issued a ukase to Fordham University 
forbidding the course of Lectures. At once there was an uproar 
and the Fordham authorities protested so strongly that the Provincial 
had to compromise. The compromise took the form of a series of 
restrictions on the lecturer. The lectures should be submitted for 
censorship in advance. No matters touching on sex were to be al- 
luded to. There was to be tremendous emphasis given to the free- 
dom of the will ; the immortality of the soul ; the spirituality of the 
soul, etc. Also, as I discovered afterwards, an official syndicus 
(spy) was appointed by the Provincial to attend the lectures and to 
report to him on them. I have many letters from Fr. P. Lebuffe, 
S.J., the Dean of the Fordham Social Service School, who was the 
organiser of the lectures, some of which are interesting reading. 
In one he writes: "Yes, I realise that you were quite conscious of 
your imposed limitations, but 'for the love of .Mike' keep them. 
Say as little as you can about sex and ram down the freedom of the 
willy etc.y as much as possible. It is a case of adjusting yourself to 
objective conditions." In another letter he wrote: "Yes, Fr. C. 

"From "Dreams to Disillusionment 333 

was there but I doubt as an 'official .witness' (spy). Anyway he 
was much pleased manifested this to Fr. A. who is our wit- 
ness and very sympathetic with you." After some compliments on 
the lectures I had already given he continued, "Ram downy and, re- 
ratn down the freedom of the will, the spirituality of the soul, the 
immortality of the soul y the real distinction between essence and 
existence and the < ubicatio fluens? etc., etc. But- joking aside hit 
and hit again these fundamental ideas, and I am sure all will be 

From the story of these lectures the reader will be able to realise 
the absurdity of Jesuits pretending to be exponents of science and in 
sympathy therewith. Science may not be freely discussed by a 
Jesuit. He may be allowed to give a little science well diluted with 
metaphysics and religion, but only in such a way. In my lectures 
on pathological psychology, the introduction of the metaphysical 
doctrines about the soul was as out of place and inappropriate, as 
would have been the introduction of remarks on the principles of 
cookery. But such was the conception of science and of the way 
that scientific lectures should be given by the up-to-date Jesuits of 
New York in 1925. 

My story is now drawing to a close, although some painful inci- 
dents still remain to be told. I had come to America on the under- 
standing that I should get facilities for my work. I found that I 
had been deceived. I was forbidden to touch psycho-therapy al- 
though many Nuns, Priests and Jesuits, Superiors included, were 
begging me for advice and guidance. My writings, although ap- 
proved by the Jesuit Censors whose duty it was to censor them, were 
forbidden publication. My lectures were only allowed under im- 
possible and absurd conditions, although I was inundated with re- 
quests for lectures from Catholic institutions. I had been all but 
forced to become a professor of sociology, and when I escaped 
that, I was made a professor of cathecism with but one short course 
of psychology towards the latter half of the school year at George- 

It was hard for me not to feel, after such experiences, that in 
the eyes of the Order I was an embarrassment, and furthermore I 

334 The Jesuit Enigma 

began to suspect that it was with a view to giving me an opportunity 
of leaving the Order in a place where I should least injure the 
Order, that I had been sent to America. It was clear that I no 
longer enjoyed the confidence of the Order, and indeed I had come 
to attach very little importance to such confidence, for I knew from 
long experience that in general It was bestowed only on subservient 
and intellectually insincere men. It was no difficult conclusion for 
me to come to that the right thing for me to do, the thing also that 
every gentlemanly instinct of my nature prompted me to do, was 
to relieve the Society of Jesus of the embarrassment I was causing 

I should like to add this significant fact, one which I take to be 
little to the credit of the Order, that in spite of all the censorship 
to which my writings had been submitted, and in spite of all the 
hostile Jesuit critics that had scrutinised those writings, no single 
sentence of any of my writings was ever shown to be untenable or 
even unorthodox. Jesuits had persecuted the "New Psychology" in 
me, and they had been unable to prove it guilty of the smallest crime 
against morality or truth! 

As regards the painful incidents that precipitated my departure, 
it may be interesting to refer briefly to one or two. At the close of 
one of my lectures at the Jesuit Hall in Sixteenth Street a pious 
lady had asked me should I have any typing work to do to give it to 
her, as it would be of help to her to have a little extra work. I 
promised to remember her should I have occasion to have some 
writings typed and she gave me her address. I little thought at the 
time that she was a potential spy of the Order. Some time later 
I drew up a paper stating my qualifications as a lecturer which I in- 
tended to submit to a lecture agency. I sent for the pious lady 
who had given me her name and asked her to type two copies of 
this paper and to return them to me as soon as possible. I told her 
explicitly that the paper 'was confidential and she promised to regard 
it as such. She typed the paper without delay and returned me the 
two copies I had asked for together with my original MS. 

Whether or not she was an agent of the Jesuits I do not know, 
but this I do know that the Jesuit Provincial immediately after was 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 335 

in possession of a copy of my confidential paper and he accused me, 
falsely, of course, of circulating it in thousands throughout America. 

The last link binding me to the Order was severed one evening 
in June (1925). At the time I was staying at the Jesuit House in 
Sixteenth Street (N.Y.C.). I had been absent for a day, visiting' an 
elderly priest who was living in a sanatorium, under the charge of 
nuns, and who was a nervous wreck, as the result, so his sister told 
me, of having lost his parish through some questionable intrigue of 
the Jesuits. When I returned to Sixteenth Street the next evening 
about 9 P. M., I was stopped at the door by the servant who said he 
had a message for me from the Superior. I asked him what it was. 
"The Superior told me to tell you" replied the servant, "that there 
was no room for you in the house , t and that you were to stop at a 

"No room for me," I asked, "but are there not several vacant 
rooms?" "There are, sir," replied the poor fellow, and I noticed 
there were tears in his eyes. "Father" he continued, "I never heard 
of a -priest being treated like this before" 

I went out on the street dazed and angry. This certainly was the 
acme of insult and the negation of Christianity. I never had 
dreamed that Jesuit Superiors would go quite so far as this! It was 
but an unimportant aspect of the matter that such conduct was ut- 
terly uncanonical, and against every precept of religious observance. 
I knew well that Jesuits were capable, when it suited them, of dis- 
regarding Canon Law and such things. But I had never suspected 
that they could depart so far from the rules of common decency. 
It was fortunate for me that I had a little silver in my pocket and 
had not to spend the night on the streets. I need not say that I 
never again sought the hospitality of a Jesuit house and I hope I 
never shall. 

|- ) I 

Twenty years had passed since I had entered the Society of Jesus, 
believing in the description given of it by the Jesuit General 
Roothan, as "a splendid abiding-place of science, piety and virtue ; 
an august temple extending over the earthy consecrated to the glory 
of God and the salvation of souls" I had given the best years of 
my life to the Society, striving as faithfully as I could to realise the 

336 The Jesuit Enigma 

ideal of the perfect Jesuit, "one who, having shed all personal in- 
terests and affections, clothes himself with Christ, and shows him- 
self in labour, patience, charity and the love of truth the servant of 
God, fighting with the arms of Justice through days of ill-fame and 
days of honour." But all was in vain. I found the Jesuit Order 
was not the home of my dreams, or a "splendicl abiding-place of 
science, piety and virtue." It was a house, not quite in ruins, 
but tumbling down, and carpeted with ashes. It was a house 
haunted by grim-visaged inquisitors with up-raised threaten- 
ing fingers. It was no longer an "august temple consecrated to the 
glory of God," but an effete sanctuary where spiritless, uninspiring 
ceremonies were pursued that were a mockery of the glorious past. 
Disillusionment had come to me slowly as step by step I followed 
the path laid out by the Jesuit Constitutions. One by one my 
dreams were shattered; one hope after another of being able to 
achieve some good while remaining a Jesuit failed me, and at last, 
convinced that if I lingered any longer in the Order all my life 
would be wasted, I left. Like Fr. Tyrrell it was some comfort to 
me to have pierced through the mist and shadows that cloud the 
minds of so many others. "It is a good life's work" -wrote Fr. 
Tyrrell, "to have arrived by personal experience and reflection at 
the solution of so 'plausible and complicated a fallacy as that of 

Some months after leaving the Order I had a third experience of 
a strange kind, not quite so definite and objective as my previous 
experiences, but no doubt connected with them in some way. This 
experience symbolised for me the end of my tragic Jesuit dream. 

At the time I was taking a few weeks rest on a rocky, spruce- 
clad islet off the coast of Maine. It was in the Fall and each eve- 
ning the vista of the sun settling to rest in its ample bed of silver 
water thrilled me. To enjoy this vista I used make my way to a 
lonely promontory and sit on the rocks over the sea. One evening, 
near sun-down, as I was going to my accustomed haunt I saw in the 
distance at the end of the promontory a tall figure, shrouded in 
black. It seemed to me that it was the gaunt woman of the black 
shawl once more, but I could not see her face. For a moment the 
figure was silhouetted against the reddening sky, then it seemed to 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 337 

raise its arms and sink slowly into the waters. So died away my 
last particle of faith in the belief I had cherished for so many years 
that the Jesuit was the re-embodiment of Jesus. 


The question often occurred to me when in the Society of Jesus, 
how much do Superiors know of the inner minds of their subjects? 
How far do they plumb the depths of disappointment and despair in 
the hearts of the rank and file? It was my lot when in the Order 
to come across many anguished hearts, hearts broken with disap- 
pointment. Again and again were repeated to me the same words. 
"I would have left long ago but for . . ." and the missing words 
were often "my father" or "my mother." How many mothers, all 
unconscious of their Jesuit son's unhappiness and of the fact that 
he is clinging to the Society to save them pain, go forth boasting of 
the virtue and the glory of the Jesuit Order! 

One Jesuit, a high Superior, through whose hands came to. me 
the official acceptance of my withdrawal, told me on the eve of 
his ordination, many years ago, that he could not tell how he had 
ever reached the point of his priesthood. He had simply drifted 
blindly along in deep depression guided by the hands of fate. 

Many young Catholics become Jesuits believing that the spirit of 
enterprise still exists in the Order. They dream of doing good 
work in ways that lie outside the stereotyped and economically safe 
paths of ordinary Apostolic endeavour. They are idealists and they 
look to the Society of Jesus as being the one and only Order where 
Ideals are pursued. Too late they find out their mistake. There 
is no room in the Society of Jesus for Idealists. Those who dream 
dreams are ruthlessly crushed and eventually most of them, in dis- 
illusionment and despair, resign themselves cynically to hidden lives 
of selfish inertia. The economic law has played havoc with the 
primitive spirit of the Order and with the "interior law of charity 
and love" that was to be its one and only Constitution. In religion 
as in the world, tragedy follows in the wake of this great universal 
economic law, and the holocaust of Jesuit Idealists marks its prog- 
ress in the Order. 

If asked by some one anxious to understand the Jesuit, what 

338 The Jesuit Enigma 

salient virtue and what salient vice marks the Jesuit as such, I should 
answer that courage is the outstanding Jesuit virtue, and arrogance 
the outstanding Jesuit vice. 

Jesuits, good and bad, learned and ignorant, sincere or deceitful, 
have for the most part remarkable courage. This courage is based 
on the self-control internal as well as external to which they are 
trained. They have been taught to face the most dire and terrible 
thoughts in their prayers and meditations; and to face the most 
complete and absolute sacrifices. And a certain reckless daring of 
spirit is a natural result of all this. Something, too, of the cold 
resolute bravery of their soldier-founder, Ignatius, is traditional in 
the Order, and one meets with countless instances of Jesuits who 
bear physical pain and moral hardship with remarkable courage. 

The arrogance of Jesuits is, however, no less conspicuous than 
their courage. They teach, speak, act with so much dogmatism 
and cock-sureness that they seem to be under the impression that 
infallibility and inerrancy are the special privileges of the Order. 
As a whole the Order firmly believes that it is always in the right. 
It admits no blemish, confesses to no short-comings, defers to the 
judgment of none, and holds strongly and continually that its "side 
is the side of Christ." Insincerity is of course rampant in Jesuits, 
but arrogance is even more prevalent. 

During the months that followed my break with the Order, I 
nourished the hope, in secret, that facilities for the continuation of 
my ministry as a priest would come through some Christlike impulse 
of the Order. 

In my last letter to my Jesuit Superior in Ireland, while insisting 
on my determination to leave the Order, I had expressed the hope 
that he would see his way to make some arrangement at Rome so 
that I could still be of service to the Church in my priestly capacity. 
But to this letter and request he did not condescend to reply. 

After waiting some time I approached certain American bishops, 
but found, as Fr. Tyrrell had found in his case, that the Order had 
forestalled me, and I was not surprised when Episcopal gates were 
slammed in my face. One exceedingly eminent prelate and Cardinal 
informed me that, although he personally wished very much to give 
me all the usual privileges of his diocese while I remained in it, he 

From Dreams to Disillusionment 339 

found that tie was powerless to do so owing to a canonical discrimi- 
nation against its ex-members that the Order had secured at Rome. 

i. i . . . . 

I still preserve a few letters as relics of my last days in the 
Order. There is one in which the Provincial of the New York 
Province "takes occasion to thank me for my services to George- 
town and for my willingness to help the Province." There is an- 
other from the Jesuit President of Georgetown University to one of 
my relatives in which he refers to me as one "of whom we all think 
very highly and who is a credit to every member of his family." 
But the most interesting of all is an envelope, addressed to me to 
Georgetown and delivered there shortly after my leaving the Order. 
The Jesuits returned it to the Postoffice having written one word 
'across my name. The word was "Unknown." 



Absolutism, 40, 89; of Jesuit General, 

in, 277; in Church, 219. 
"Acta Sanctorum," 37. 

Activities, present day, of Order, 41. 

Acquaviva, S.J., Claudius, General, 
17; as general, 34; character, 34, 
35 ; relations with Sixtus V, 47, 48, 
56, 81, 96; views on Manifestation 
of Conscience, 116; refers to "ex- 
terns," 125; chastity, 137; favors 
women of high rank, 137 ; employs 
Hoffaus, S.J., as "visitator," 140; 
draws up "Ratio," and the "In- 
dustriae," on Mind-Healing, 150; 
forestalls Freud, 152, 154, 158, 160, 
163; views as to requirements of 
Jesuit Professors, 175, 209; atti- 
tude as regards Tyrannicide, 233, 
267; reactionary spirit, 276. 

Mierni Patris, 277. 

Alber, S.J., 47. 

Alcala, 23, 82. 

Alexander VII, Pope, 37, 57, 248, 

Alexander VIII, Pope, 269. 

Alfonso XII, 40. 

Allen, Cardinal, 93. 

Ambrose, Saint, 225, 258. 

Andrada, S.J., 38. 

Annat, S.J., 60. 

Anthony, of Padua, Saint, 198. 

Aquinas, Saint Thomas, 88, 89, 176, 
228, 277. 

Araoz, S.J., Father, 32, 35, 46. 

Archette, 53. 

Aristotle, 169, 173, 174, 228, 

Arrogance, Cordara's Memoirs, 98; 
Superiority Complex, 103, 220, 
299J tone of "Ratio," 167; Order's 
assumption of Superiority in Cath- 


Arrogance continued 

olic Church, 220; characteristic of 

individual Jesuits, 338. 
Art, 296. 

Ascendente Domino, 233. 
Attachment, to Society, 295. 
Auger, S.J., 60. 
Augustinians, 29. 


Bacon, Francis, 166. 

Basil, Saint, 154, 171. 

Bastille, 97. 

Bathori, King of Poland, 59. 

Beer, incident in Noviceship, 284. 

Belley, Bishop of, 62. 

Benedict XIV, Pope, 49; condemns 
"Malabar rites," 49; appoints Of- 
ficial Visitator to Society, 49; 
248, 269. 

Benedictines, 27, 71, 167, 299. 

Berchmans, S.J., Saint John, 197, 

Bergamo, 118. 

Bermudez, S.J., 252. 

Beschi, S.J., Constant, 38, 39. 

Bethlehem, 81, 214. 

Beyschlag, Dr., 232. 

Bieczynski, S.J., Provincial, letter 
on lispionage, 108, in. 

Blyssem, S.J., 252. 

Bobadilla, S.J., Father, 23, 29, 33, 

Bollandists, 37. 

Bollandus, S.J., Father, 37. 

Bononia, 138. 

Borgia, S.J., Saint Francis, General, 
17, 29; received by Ignatius, 32, 
34, 46; relations with Pope Pius 
V; 47, 62. 

Bosse, Dr., 221. 

Bourbons, 112, 263, 270. 



Bourgeois, S.J., 51. 

Broet, S.J., Father, 24, 29, 33, 138. 

Bruno, Saint, 19. 

Brussels, 215, 

Canisius, S.J., Blessed, 29. 

Cano, Melchior, 63, 208. 

Camara, S.J., 123. 

Campbell, S.J., Father T. J. His 
work, "The Jesuits" 1921, 32 et 

Caprivi, Count, 220. 

Caraffa, Cardinal, 48, 179. 

Carboni, S.J., 60. 

Carlyle, Thomas, 20, 22, 23, 32, 44, 
61, 281, 298. 

Carnova, S.J., 179. 

Carpi, Cardinal, 33. 

Casuistry, 39, cf. "Mental Reserva- 

Catherein, S.J., 241. 

Catherine the Great, 18, 53, 138, 283 ; 
protects Jesuits against Pope 
Clement, 52. 

"Catholic World," 217. 

Caussin, S.J., 251. 

Censorship of Books, 94; coercing 
Jesuit authors, 230, 232; troubles 
of Tyrrell, S.J., 280, 315; au- 
thor's experiences in Order, 331, 

333, 334- 

Chanones, John, 65. 

Charles V, Emperor, 29, 209. 

Chastity, claim of Fr. Genelli, S.J., 
on behalf of Order, 126 ; Cordara, 
S.J., to same effect, 126; v<jws of 
Chastity 127; Rules of Modesty, 
128; "Ne tangas" rule, 130; novel 
reading, 130 ; petting animals, 130 ; 
Order's attitude towards women, 
131; women deserving of visits, 
132; "testis," 133; confessions of 
women, 135 ; letters to women, 135 ; 
Jesuit strategy against sex, 137; 
"clausura," 137; scandals, 140; 
Jesuit neglect of "safeguards," 
142; signs of sex-conflict in 
Jesuits, 142; spiritual polygamists, 

Chastity continited 
142; Novices' chastity, 143; homo- 
sexual Jesuits, 148, 204. 

China, 35, 36, 38, 51, 210, 212. 

Chrysostom, 171. 

Cicero, 98, 171. 

"Civilta Cattolica," and Hoens- 
broech, 225. 

Clavius, S.J., 37. 

Clement VIII, Pope, 35, 48. 

Clement IX, Pope, 212, 269. 

Clement X, Pope, 269. 

Clement XI, Pope, 238, 269. 

Clement XII, Pope, 269. 

Clement XIII, Pope, 95, 99. 

Clement XIV, Pope, regarded Jesuits 
as "mischief-makers," 20, 31, 35; 
Jesuit disobedience and con- 
tumacy towards Clement, 49, 
53; Clement's accusations against 
Jesuits, of greed of gold, 209, 
and treachery, 218; Jesuit writers 
pretend Clement's brief Domi- 
nus ac Redemptor, which sup- 
pressed the Order, was a vindi- 
cation, 245; Clement's election to 
Papacy, 262; draws up Brief of 
Suppression, 264; points out 
sources of evil in Order, 264; al- 
ludes to vain efforts of previous 
Popes to reform the Order, 267; 
his sense of honour, 270; Spirit of 
the Brief, 273. 

Clongowes Wood, College, 121, 122, 
148, 173, 178, 180, 183, 192, 303, 

Codure, S.J., Father, 24. 

Coimbra, 29. 

"Common Rules," 93, 106, 122, 226. 

Confession, syndici and confessions, 
108; accusations of de Canaye, 
118, and of Marie Therese, 119; 
confessors as Superiors, 119; 
Jesuits' confessions ; restrictions, 
119; "starving" as punishment, 
120; "reserved sins" in Order, 
120; Mendoza, S.J., protests, 121; 
Royal Confessors, 253. 

Congo, 18, 29, 38. 

Consalvi, Cardinal, 58. 



Conservatism, in doctrine, 89, 228; 
in practice, cf. "Repression." 

Constitutions of Order, "formula," 
26, 27; against "novitates," 42; 
approved by Paul III, re-examined 
by Paul IV, 46; Popes Pius V 
and Sixtus V, and Constitutions, 
46, 47; "Institute" denned, 84; 
criticism forbidden, 86; "liberty" 
of opinion, 90; "conspiring'' 
against, no; insistence on "Mani- 
festation," 116; chastity, 126, 131; 
relation to "Industrise," 154; temp- 
tations against Institute, 157; in 
relation to education, 170; "re- 
pression," 188, 204; Jesuit "es- 
capes" from effects of Constitu- 
tions, 245; their "iron-bound" 
quality, 300. 

Cordara, S.J., Father, 31, 98, 126, 
209, 212, 265, 269. 

Cosmetics, Ignatius advises against, 
259, seq. 

Costanza, 138. 

Cotton, S.J., 252. 

Coue, 153. 

Council of Trent, Clement XIV 
shows it did not "approve" the 
Order, 272, 281. 

Courage, Jesuit virtue, 338. 

"Court Cardinals," 262. 

Cretineau-Joly, 51, 234, 251, 252. 

Cromwell, 18, 302. 

Cruciata, 254. 

Cuculain, 247. 

Czerniewicz, S.J., 52. 

de Beaumont, Archbishop, 54; let- 
ter to Pope Clement; 54, 


de Britto, S.J., 38, 39- 

Debuchy, S.J., 67, 68, 75- 

de Canaye, 118, 119. 

de Cisneros, Garcia, 65. 

"De Defectibus Societatis," 233. 

de la Berthier, Abbe, 97 seq. 

Delhi, 18. 

Delrio, S.J., 239. 

de Medici, Catherine, 33. 

de Medici, Duke Cosimo, 213. 

de Mendoza, S.J., Hernando, 121. 
Demosthenes, 171. 

de Nobili, S.J., 38, 39- 

de Ravignan, S.J., 53, 236, 237, 251. 

de Rohan, Cardinal, 97. 

de Smet, S.J., Father, 38, 149. 

de Tournon, Cardinal, 39, 49, 269. 

"De Wet," 260. 

Dez, S.J., 49. 

Dismissal, 91; conditions of, 91, 99; 

dismissorial papers, 91 ; Jesuit use 

of term "dismissed," 92, in; 

espionage and dismissal, 112; 

privileges of Order, dismissal 

without trial, 254; Pope Clement's 

view of Jesuit Practice, 281; fear 

of, in Noviceship, 311. 
"Disquisitionum Magicarum," 239. 
Don Carlos, 40. 
Don Pedro, of Portugal, 60. 
Dominicans, 21, 27, 65, 135, 208, 

290, 299. 
Dominus ac Redemptor, 264, seq., 

Doyle, S.J., William, 198; neurotic 

tendencies, 199. 
Du Barry, Mme., 53. 
Dublin, 97, 103, 139, 215, 261, 302, 

308, seq. 

Duke of Bavaria, 47, 170. 
du Quene, Admiral, 211. 
Dymphna, Saint, 136. 

Ecclesia Catholicae, 95. 

Edification, 93, 94. 

Education, publication of "Ratio 
Studiorum," 165; Ignatius enter- 
prise in, 166 ; founding colleges, 
167 ; indebtedness of Jesuits to 
older systems, 169; changes in 
"Ratio," 172; classics emphasised, 
170; Jesuit self-interest in educa- 
tional ventures, 170 ; characteristics 
of "Ratio," 172 seq.; corporal pun- 
ishment, 173; submissiveness re- 
quired in professors, 175; au- 
thor's experience, 178; ignorance 
of "Ratio," 178; lack of training 
in Jesuit teachers, 179, seq.; 



Education continued 
"Ratio" and the vernacular, 182; 
"touting" for vocations, 184; 
coercion of thought, 185, 304, 

Edward VII, of England, 220. 

"End Justifies Means," the doctrine, 
224; repudiated by Order, 224; 
the practice of the maxim, 225; 
treatment of lay-brothers, 226; 
coercion of thought, 227, seq.; St. 
Francis and forcible conversions, 
228; execution of heretics, 229; 
censorship, 230; Novices kept in 
ignorance, 231; "use of poisoned 
gas," 232; Mariana, S.J., and la 
Valette, S.J., made scapegoats of 
Order, 232, seq.; la Croix affair, 
236; "probabilism," 238, seq.; 
Jesuit attitude towards heresy, 
241 ; Jesuit Obedience, 242. 

England, 39, 196, 220, 222, 235. 

"Epitome Instituti Societatis Jesu," 
ed. 1924, quoted passim; 

Equivocation, 239, seq. 

Erasmus, 167. 

Escape, Jesuit methods of, 245; 
through privileges, 246; Ignatius' 
examples, 246; escape from ordi- 
nances of Paul V and Innocent 
X, 248; from severity of "Consti- 
tutions," 248; the "Apostolic Dis- 
pensation" from Poverty, 250; 
the use of pretexts, 256; escape 
from criticism, 258; individual 
Jesuit escapes from being 
"caught," 260; incidents, 271. 

Escobar, S.J., 75- 

Espionage, syndici, (spies) 105, 
106; secret government, ioj> ! ; the 
Jesuit system of, 106 ; types of 
syndici, 107; syndicus and confes- 
sions, 108; "visitors" at prayers, 
108; Fr. Bieczynski's letter, 108; 
Ranke's view, 109 ; Jesuits, and 
the "confidences" of brother- 
Jesuits, 109 ; spying in Noviceship, 
in; secret information and dis- 
missals, in; courtesy towards in- 
formers, 113; novices trained to 
spy, 113; spying. in colleges, 121; 

Espionage continued 
spymania, 121; author's expe- 
riences, 123, 124, 334; Fr. "X," 
and spying, 202; 245, 278. 

Excommunication, 29, of Louis XIV, 
49, 86, 91; Innocent X censures 
Order for excommunicating Bishop 
Palafox, 255, 268, 283. 

Ex Debito, 212. 

"Ex-Jesuits," Order's anger against 
their criticism, 225 ; Tyrrell's 
views, 259; Hoensbroech, 259, 282. 

Faber, Fr. F. W., 87. 

Faber, S.J., Father, 23, 24, 29, 55, 


Fawkes, Guy, 18. 
Ferdinand VII, 40. 
Fire, incident in Noviceship, 286. 
Fordham University, 43, 332. 
Forer, S.J., Laurentius, 251. 
"Forming One's Conscience," 256, 

Francis Xavier, S.J., Saint, 23, 29; 

his "restlessness," 149; dislike of 

Jews and Moslems, 208; plan for 

securing converts, 228. 
Francis of Assisi, Saint, 198. 
Franciscans, 21, 27, 65, 135, 167, 299. 
"Fratres Conventuales Reformati," 


"Fratres Humiliati," 265. 
Frederick the Great, 18, 52, 283. 
Freud, Sigmund, 152, 164. 

Galileo, 18. 

Gallican Articles, 236. 

Galway, 178, 322, 329. 

Games, 291 (an incident). 

Garibaldi, 18. 

Gamier, S.J., 263. 

Genelli, S.J., and Jesuit chastity, 

126, 140, 141. 
General Congregation, 35,, 58, 86, 

no, 119, 121, 131, 158, 175, 210, 




General of Jesuits, 18; his powers, 
27, 28; trouble at elections of, 55, 
seq.; letters, marked "Soli," 106; 
reports of syndici, 113, 127, 
"Black Pope's" power at Rome, 

Georgetown University (Washing- 
ton, D. C), 178, 213, 330, 339- 

Gerrard, S.J., 138. 

Gerrard of Zutphen, 66. 

Gillis, Father, 217. 

Gonzago, S.J., Saint Aloysius, 197, 
202, 216. 

Gonzalez, S.J., General, 57. 

Government, author's experience of 
harshness, 313, 321, 329, 335. 

Grand Lama, 18. 

Gratuitous Services, 94; in educa- 
tion, 166, seq.; Bishop of Gambray, 
243 ; Jesuit rules of "freely giv- 
ing," 249; author's experience, 

Gravissime Nos, 277 

Great Mogul, 18. 

"Great Storm," the, 34; Jews in the 
trouble, 42 ; Sixtus V, 47 ; Spanish 
Jesuits' claims, 56. 

"Great War," Jesuit attitude, 41, 

Gregory XIII, Pope, 47, 56. 

Gregory XIV, Pope, 35, 96, 267. 

Gretser, S.J., 37- 

Guetee, Abbe, 63. 

Guidiccioni, Cardinal, 27, 246, 256. 

Gustavus, Adolphus, 18, 251. 


Hammerstein, S.J., 241. 

Harnack, and Jesuit historians, 237. 

Hegel, '174. 

Henry VIII, of England, 29. 

Henry III, of France, 232. 

Henry IV, of France, 18, 118, 233. 

"Hobbies," of Jesuits, 196, seq. 

Hoensbroech, Count von, 139; re- 
lations with Kaiser, 220, seq,; 
"End Justifies Means," contro- 
versy, 224 ; experience with Fr. 
Pesch, S.J., 232, 240, 252; "Four- 
teen years a Jesuit," 259. 

Hoffaus, S.J., (Visitator), 140, 141, 

Hohenlohe, Prince, 221. 

Hojeda, S.J., 232. 

Holy Land, 23, 24. 

Holy See, Jesuit attitude towards, 
45, 46; a "Remonstrance" to 
Gregory XIII, 47; difficulties of 
Sixtus V with Order, 47, and of 
Clement VIII, 49, and Innocent 
XI, 49; contumacy of Order, to- 
wards Clement XIV, 49, seq;. and 
Innocent X, 55; Ignatius' attitude 
towards Paul IV, 247; Paul V, 
247; Innocent X, 248; Clement 
XIV anticipates Jesuit disobedi- 
ence, 271, seq. 

Homer, 171. 
i Horace, 21, 170. 

Hughes, S.J., 102, 166, 169, 185, 
245, 264. 

Hume, Major, 40. 

Huysmans, 63. 

Ignatius Loyola, wounded at Pam- 
peluna, 22; early religious life, 
22, 23 ; at Paris, 23 ; his associates 
at Venice, 24; visions, 25; founds 
the "Company of Jesus," 27; 
draws up Constitutions, 28; his 
character, 30; his policy, 31; his 
government of the Order, 31 seq.; 
accused of insincerity by Carlyle, 
44; circumstances of Ignatius' 
election, 55; the Spiritual Exer- 
cises, 66; his chivalry appears in 
Exercises, 78, seq.; Ingatius' sim- 
plicity, 81 ; his interest in his sub- 
jects, 123; educational enterprise, 
166; indifference to progress of 
science, 185; his "escape" method, 
246 ; his ambition to have approval 
of the "Council of Trent," for the 
Order, 272; decrease of powers, 

Illuminati, 25. 

"Imago Primi Saeculi," 74, 96; and 
Martin Luther, 97 ; reply of Abbe 
de la Berthier, 97. 


Indifferentism, 79, 186, 189. 

Indiscipline in Order, at elections of 
Generals, 55; "Conspirators," 57, 
58; Tyrrell's view, 278; cf., "ex- 

Ingolstadt, 36. 

Innocent X, Pope, 109, 119; Palafox 
letter, 210, 248; condemns Jesuit 
practices, 255, 269. 

Innocent XI, Pope, 33, 48; enraged 
against Society, 49, 57, 264, 269. 

Innocent XII, Pope, 269. 

Innocent XIII, Pope, 264, 269. 

Ireland, 29, 104, 178, 196, 222, 240 
261, 284, 301, 338. 

Irish Nationalism, 100; Sinn Fein, 
222, 316, 317, 322, 326. 

Isabella II, of Spain, 40. 

Ismat Saniassi, 38, 

James II, of England, 251. 

Jansenius, 18. 

Janssen, 63. 

Jerusalem, 26, 78. 

Jesuit "Contradictions," 44. 

Jesuit Professors, 89 ; position as re- 
gards philosophy, 174; qualifica- 
tions, 175 ; submissiveness required, 
175; author's experience, 330. 

Jesuit writers, 37; and censorship, 
230 ; Mariana's book, 232. 

Jews, attitude of Order towards 
Jews, 43; Jews and Jesuits com- 
pared, 42, 208, 242. 

Jogues, S.J., Isaac, 38. 

"John Bull," 187. 

John III, of Sweden, 59. f 

John IV, of Sweden, 251. 

Joyce, James, 183. 

Juniorate, life in, 311. 


Kaiser, 220, 221. 

Kant, 174; Fr. "S" and Kant, 176. 

Kiel, 221. 

King Albert, of Belgium, 221. 

Kircher, S.J., 37. 

Koran, 71, 144. 

la Croix, S.J., Provincial, signs Gal- 

lican articles, 236, 
Laffite, 63. 
Lainez, S.J., General, 23, 29, 33, 34, 

46; accused of seizing power, 56; 

regulations regarding colleges, 

171, 213, 272. 
La Marche, S.J., finds la Valette, 

S.J., guilty of trading, 235. 
Lamormaini, S.J., 251. 
"Latin Rule," 197. 
Laybrothers, 28, 226, 227, 277. 
Layman, S.J., 251. 
la Valette, S.J., 21, 234, 235. 
Lazarist, Fathers, 39. 
Ledochowski, S.J., General, 177, 314. 
Lehmkuhl, S.J., and Mariana, S.J., 


Leibnitz, 174. 
Le Jay, S.J., Father, 24. 
Leo XIII, Pope, 277. 
Letellier, S.J., 252. 
Letters, opened and read, 115; 

marked "soli," 106; destined for 

women, 135. 
Lieber, 220, 221. 
Lipsius, Justus, 239. 
"Little Flower," 214, 298. 
Lovel, Lady, 138. 
Louis XIII, 253. 
Louis XIV, 18, 48, 49, 211. 
Louvain, 165, 166, 176, 207, 239, 291, 


Lowenstein, Prince, 222. 
Ludolph of Saxony, 22, 65. 
Lukanus, 221. 
Luther, Martin, 54, 63, 97, 224. 


Macaulay, on Spiritual Exercises, 


Machiavelli, 20, 161. 
"Malabar and Chinese rites," 39, 

247, 269. 
Malta, 275. 
Manares, S.J., 56, 60, 173. 



Manifestation of Conscience, 108; 
prescribed for all, 116; Acquaviva 
and Manifestation, 116; adopted 
outside the Order, 117; New Code 
of Canon Law prohibits Manifes- 
tation, 117; how Superiors use 
knowledge gained in Manifesta- 
tions, 117; experience of author, 
117, seq. 
Manning, Cardinal, 100. 

Manresa, 22, 23, 43, 65, 66. 

Marcellus, Pope, 247. 

Margaret Mary, Blessed, 298. 

Mariana, S.J., 109, 209, and Lehm- 
kuhl, S.J., 234. 

Marie Therese, 119, 181. 

Martin, M., 211, 212. 

Martinique, 212, 234, 235. 

Martin, S.J., General, 173, 274; his 
tribute to Fr. Tyrrell. 

Mary Queen of Scots, 18. 

Mazarin, 18. 

Membership, of Society, 29, 34, 35, 
39, 207, 213, 279. 

Menology, of Society of Jesus, 275. 

"Mental Reservation," 239, seq.; au- 
thor's experience, 240, 245. 

Mercurian, S.J., General, 56, 137. 

Messenger of the Sacred Heart, 94; 
source of wealth and power, 213; 
an advertising medium for Jesuit 
wares, 215 ; the "Irish Messenger" 
of Jan., 1927, 215. 

Methods of Prayer, 73. 

Mexico, 20, 37, 39, 210. 

Mind-Healing, in Order, abnormal 
Jesuits, 145 ; persecution-mania, 
145; "fetishism," "sadism," "ex- 
hibitionism," "arithmomania," 146, 
seq.; homosexuality, 148; "mother- 
fixation" on Order, 149; General 
Acquaviva's treatise, "Industrie," 
150, seq.; sixteen Jesuit diseases, 
153 ; "fear of God," as element of 
cure, 154; the Jesuit Constitutions, 
as a pharmacy, 154; how "sick" 
Jesuits are threatened and pun- 
ished, 159; espionage, as element 
of treatment, 166; the Devil's part 
in neuroses, 163; criticism of 
Jesuit mindvhealing, 163, seq. 

Missioners, Rules for, 92. 
Missions, 29; under Acquaviva, 35; 

Fr. Beschi, 39; characteristics of 

Jesuit Missions, 39, 51, 197; 

Paraguay, 211; Martinique, 234, 

Modesty, rules of, 87, 94, 128, 130; 

in abeyance, 142, 195, 203, 244. 
"Monita Generalia," 251. 
Monks of St. Bernard, 167. 
Monod, S.J., 251. 
Montmartre, 23, 25. 
Montserrat, 22, 65. 
Moreira, S.J., 60. 
Munich, 36. 
Music, forbidden in Order, 189. 


Name, "Society of Jesus," origin, 
25; Sixtus V orders it changed, 
47, 95, 158; a source of prestige, 

Napoleon, 18. 

Nepos, 171. 

"Ne Tangas," rule, 130, 142, 204. 

Newman, Cardinal, 258, 276. 

Nickel, S.J., General, 57, 253. 

Nicolai, S.J., 59. 

Nidhard, S.J., 60, 252. 

Nietzsche, 174. 

Nile, 18, 38. 

"Nine First Fridays," 215, 298. 

"Nostra Minima Societas," 95, 99. 

Noviceship, life in, 309, seq. 

Novices, training, 309, seq.; fear- 
motive, 311. 


Obedience, of Jesuits, 51, 53; criti- 
cism of Jesuit Obedience, 242; 
"Blind Obedience," 287; cf. "Holy 

Olave, S.J., Bernard, 243. 

Oliva, S.J., General, 57, 58, 181. 

Orlandini, S.J., Father, 168. 

Ormanetto, Cardinal, 34. 

Ortiz, 26. 

"Our Way," 86. 


Padua, 29, 118, 165. 

Paez, S.J., 38. 

Palaf ox, Venerable Bishop, 109 ; let- 
ter to Innocent X, in, 210; quar- 
rel with the Order, 255. 

Pampeluna, 22. 

Panzi, S.J., 51- 

Paraguay, 37, 21 1. 

Parana River, an. 

Paray le Monial, 298. 

Paris, 1 8, 23, 165, 166, 207. 

Parsons, S.J., 60, 252. 

"Particular Examen," 73, 113. 

Pastoralis Officii Cwra, 62. 

Patchtler, S.J., 183. 

Paul III, Pope, 26, 27, 62, 63, 64, 
95, 138, 266. 

Paul IV, Pope, 45 ; examines Jesuit 
Constitutions, 46, 56, 247, 267. 

Paul V, Pope, 247, 268, 269. 

Paulist Fathers, 217. 

Penances, 101, 102; in Noviceship, 
310; cf. "Repression." 

Pergen, Count, 181, 

Pesch, S.J., 232. 

Petre, S.J., 60, 251. 

Petrucci, S.J., 58. 

Phsedrus, 171. 

Philip II, 18, 34, 47, 56, 59, 233, 

Philosophy, 90; fidelity to Aristotle, 
174; subservience to Theology, 174. 
228; story of Fr. "S" and Kant, 
176; Jesuit scepticism, 287. 

Pietroboni, S.J., 58. 

Pius IV, Pope, 33, 56. 

Pius V, Pope Saint, 34, 4$, 47, ,60, 
265, 266, seq. 

Pius VI, Pope, 53, 55- 

Pius VII, Pope, 36. 

Pius IX, Pope, 53, 54, 241, 277- 

Pius X, Pope, 282. 

Plato, 169, 320. 

"Poisoned Gas," 225; use by Jesuits 
against Mariana, S.J., and la 
Valette, S.J., 233, seq.; 258. 

Poissy, Colloquy of, 33. 

Polanco, S.J., Ignatius' Secretary, 
56, 170, 188, 243, 259. 

Politics, 36, 59; Possevin's political 
activities, 59; Vieira, 59; Holy 
See, and Jesuit interference in 
politics, 60; Hoensbroech and 
Kaiser, 220 ; Roothan's declaration, 
251; Jesuit political agents, 252, 
seq.; Clement XIV and Jesuit in- 
terference in, 268, 316. 

Pollen, S.J., Father J. H. Articles in 
the "Catholic Encyclopedia," 27 
et passim. - 

Polotsk, 36, 53. 

Pombal, Duke of, 60. 

Pontan, S.J., Jacob, (Spanmiiller) 

Portillo, S.J., 86. 

Possevin, S.J., Anthony, 59, 60, 169, 

Poverty, to be loved as "Mother," 
102; Jesuit's private purse, 194; 
Jesuit wastefulness, 194; of "Pro- 
fessed" Fathers, 243; escape from 
"Evangelical Poverty," 250. 

Power, Ignatius' acquisition of, 207; 
highest point of Jesuit power, 209; 
sources of, 212, seq.; use made of 
celebrities, (Fr. Vaughan, SJ.), 
216; importance of name, Society 
of Jesus, 216; sodalities, 216; au- 
thor's experience, 217; school of 
Foreign Service at Washington, 
218; the "Black Pope's" power at 
Rome, 219; in Prussia, under 
Kaiser, 220; Hoensbroech's ex- 
perience, 220, seq.; in Ireland, 222; 
Innocent X curbs Jesuit's priv- 
ileges, 255 ; "power-complex," 299 ; 
cf., "Privileges." 

"Practical" Asceticism, 297. 

Prison, 33, 99, 100; power to incar- 
cerate delinquent subjects, 254. 

Privileges, 32, 109, 246; Order 
amasses, 253 ; scope of Jesuit priv- 
ileges, 254; privileges against sub- 
ject Jesuits, 254; Innocent X curbs 
Jesuit privileges, 255. 

"Probabilism," 36; General Gonzalez 
occasions "uproar," by opposing 
doctrine, 58, 238; Fr. Camargo's 
protest, 238, 243, 245. 



Professed Fathers, 28, 31 ; scandals 
concerning, 141; their vows of 
poverty, 243, 250, 288, 289. 

Prpspero et Felici Statu, 248. 

Psycho-Analysis, 293, 326. 

Psychology, 130, 145; abnormalities 
in Order, 148, seq.; "Ratio," .171, 
186 ; Jesuit Psychology, 271 ; Jesuit 
attitude towards Psycho-Analysis, 
293, 313, 325, 326, 333. 

Ptolemaic System, 79. 


"Quarter of Charity," (Lapidatio), 

in Noviceship, 114, seq. 
Queen Christina, 18. 
Queen Victoria, 220. 


Rahilly, Prof. Alfred, 198, 

Ranke, 57, 109, 166. 

Ratio Studiorum, 34; "observatores" 
among boys, 121, 152, 165; note 
of arrogance, 167; Jesuit igno- 
rance of "Ratio," 178; old "Ratio" 
and execution of heretics, 229; 
witchcraft, 229, 279; cf., Educa- 

Ravaillac, 18, 233. 

Reactions, to repression, incidents, 
192, 195; Jesuit hobbies, 196; 
spiritual eccentricities of W. 
Doyle, S.J., 199, 203. 

Recreation, "compulsory," 290 ; 
"free," 290. 

Reformation, 206. 

Reform, 33, 34; Fr. Pollen, S.J., 
denies Society ever needed "re- 
form," 268. 

Regimin? Militantis, 27. 

Renunciation of Property, 92, 243. 

Repression, in Order, "vince te- 
ipsum," maxim, 187; novices and 
their relations, 188; crushing the 
will and judgment, 189; friend- 
ships, 189 ; pretence and insincerity 
as result of, 190; experience in 
Noviceship, 191; "explosions" as 
result of excessive repression, 192, 

Repression continued 
194; Ignatius and games, 196; 
"Latin Rule," 197; Jesuit Saints, 
198; Fr. "X," as type, 200; re- 
actions to, 204, 219; author's ex- 
perience, 332. 

Retreats* 69, 70; at Colleges, 305. 

Rezzonico, Cardinal, 262. 

Ribadeneira, S.J., 168, 196, 247. 

Ricci, S.J.,. General, 50, 263. 

Richelieu, 18, 251. 

Richmond Park, London, 274, 278. 

Rodriguez, S.J., Father Simon, 23, 

29, 33- 

Rodriguez, S.J., Saint Alphonsus, 

Roothan, S.J., General, 76; "Apo- 
logia" for Society of Jesus, 85, 
95; on Jesuit education, 170; on 
Jesuit interference in Politics, 251, 


Rosweyde, S.J., 37. 
Russia, 36, 52, 59. 

Sacred Heart Nuns, 135, 216. 

Saint Simon, 209. 

Salamanca, 23, 166, 207, 239. 

Saldanha, Cardinal, 49. 

Salmeron, S.J., Father, 23, 29, 33, 

Sanchez, S.J., 176. 

Savonarola, 19. 

Schall, S.J., 21. 

Schneiner, S.J., 37. 

Scholastics, 28. 

Science, Jesuit attitude, 90, 230; 
"Ratio" and science, 174, seq.; 
coercion of thought, 175, 228; Ig- 
natius indifference, 185; Harnack 
and Jesuit Historians, 237; Jesuits 
uninterested in, 292; 296; author's 
experience, 332, seq. 

Secchi, S. J., 37. 

Secrecy, rule of, 86; accusations of 
Bishop Palafox, 109; in respect 
of manifestation of conscience, 

Sixtus V, Pope, 33, 35, 47, 48, 94, 
158, 159, 247, 265, 267. 



Smith, S.J., 245, 265. 

Sobieski, 18; letter to Jesuit General 
Oliva, 58. 

Social Classes, in Order, 288, 290. 

Socrates, 169, 320. 

"Soli," 106. 

Sollicitudo, 212. 

"Speculum," 324. 

Spinoza, 174. 

Spiritual Coadjutors, 28, 31, 141, 
250, 289. 

Spiritual Exercises, approval by 
Pope Paul III, 62; asceticism of, 
63; Jesuit monopoly of, 63; first 
edition, for "Ours," 64; Ignatius 
holds back the book from public, 
64; author's experience of, 64, 70; 
the "Directorium," 65, 81; Ig- 
natius' indebtedness, 66; divisions 
of, 66; note of chivalry, 67; the 
rules it contains, 68; Jesuit novices 
and exercises, 69; the "Composi- 
tion of Place," 70, 73; criticism 
of, 71, 77, 79, 81; technique of, 
72; "Hell," 75; applying the 
senses, 76; "Devil," 78; "Particu- 
lar Examen," 73; "book-keeping" 
spirit, 74; "inspiration" of, 74; 
"indifferentism," 79, 131; exer- 
cises and women, 132, 156, 163. 

St. George, 206. 

Stonyhurst College, 275. 

Strassburg School, 169. 

Streicher, S.J., 182. 

Sturm, John, 169. 

Suppression, 31, 35, 49, Si; cf. 
Clement XIV. 

Syllabus, of Pius IX, 241. 

Tachard, S.J., 211 

Talmud, 42. 

"Tertianship," 323; school of per- 
fection, 324; the "Speculum," 324. 

Theatines, 33. 

Theiner, 53. 

Theological Studies, at Milltown 
Park, S.J., 31?. 

Thesaurus SpirituaJis, 152. 

Thibet, 18, 38. 

"Thinking with the Orthodox 
Church," rules, 80. 

Thorn, 21. 

Thucydides, 171. 

Tibullus, 21. 

Tilly, 21. 

Titus Gates, 18. 

Tokio, 314. 

Tolerance, and Jesuit Theology, 

Toletus, S.J., Cardinal, 35, 56. 

Trading, Bishop Palafox accuses 
Jesuits of trading, 210; M. Mar- 
tin's report, 211; Urban VIII and 
Clement IX forbid Jesuits to 
trade, 212, 215; affair of la 
Valette, S.J., 234 seq. 

Trenton, 206, 207. 

Trichinopoli, 18, 38. 

Tyrannicide, 232, seq.; 242. 

Tyrrell, Rev. George, 102, 139, 141, 
219, 231, 257, 259; "Letter to the 
General," 274; early- admiration 
for Ignatius, 275; career in Jesuit 
Order, 275 seq.; experiences of 
reaction and intransigence in Or- 
der, 276 seq.; the Jesuitising of 
the Church, 277; Jesuitism and 
Protestantism, 278; indictment of 
Order, 279; view of scandals, 280; 
his "Letter," compared with 
Clement XIV's, brief, Dominus ac 
Redemptor, 281. 

"Twelfth Promise," 298. 


"Uncle Sam," 187. 
Uniformity, in practices and doc- 
trines, 87, 88. 
Urban VII, Pope, 269. 
Urban VIII, Pope, 212, 254, 265. 

Van Dyke, Paul, 24, 25, 28, 32, 138, 

185, 196, 259. 
Vatican Council, 277. 
Vaughan, S.J., Bernard, 215, 220, 

Venice, 24, 118. 


S.J., 59, 60. 

Vilna, 37, 59- 

Visconti, S.J., General, 165; sum- 
mons Fr. la Valette to Rome, 235. 

Vitelleschi, S.J., General, 56, 57, 

Vocations, "touting" for Vocations, 
184; Fr. Doyle's book, "Voca- 
tions," 199; Tyrrell and "press- 
gang" system, 278; author's ex- 
perience, 305. 

Voltaire, 18, 183, 287. 

von Lang, Heinrich, 140,. 141. 

von Loe, Baron, 232. 


Waldersee, Count, 221. 

Wallenstein, 21. 

Washington (D. C.), 84, 218, 219, 

Wastage, of men in Order, 295 seq. 

Watson, Fr. W., 138. 

Wealth, 39; Sobieski's letter, 58; 
author's experience, 60; Fr. Hof- 
faus report, 209; Mariana and 
Spanish Jesuits, 209; Palafox let- 
ter to Innocent X, 210; in Para- 
guay, 21 1 ; in Austria, 212; Cor- 
dara's admission, 212; in United 
States, 212; sources of wealth, 212 

Wealth continued 

seq.; Jesuit explanation, 214; . la 
Valette affair, 234; Clement XIV 
and Jesuit "eagerness for earthly 
goods," 268. 

Wernz, S.J., General, 229, 241. 

Wiseman, Cardinal, praises spiritual 
exercises, 67, 68, 75; criticises 
Jesuits of Farm Street, London, 

Wittenberg, 63. 

Women, Jesuit attitude towards, 
131; those worthy of visits from 
"Ours," 132; the "Directorium" 
regards women as "rudes," 132; 
Retreats for women, 133; rules 
for visiting women, 133; confes- 
sions of, 135; nuns, 135; letters 
to, 135; spiritual needs of men 
come first, 136; women of rank 
favored, 137; best friends of 
Jesuits, 139; Jesuit "fascination," 
139; "mulierculae," 142. 


"X," Father, a type of Jesuit, 200, 

Zelanti, 262.